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Govt may approach IAEA after Left's U-turn
November 13, 2007 20:17 IST
India is likely to approach the IAEA for negotiations on a safeguards agreement needed to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal following a softening of stand by the Left allies who have indicated that they may have no objection to such talks without the government committing anything in writing.
Buoyed by the change in the Left position, the government has reconvened a meeting of the UPA-Left committee on November 16 when a view is expected to be firmed up on the issue.
"The meeting of UPA-Left has been reconvened on November 16. We hope a way out will be found at the meeting," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters.
Sources suggested that the Left parties had agreed to letting the government have negotiations with the IAEA for India-specific safeguards agreement subject to the condition that the government would not initial any agreement with the international atomic watchdog.
The Left has made it clear that the government should come back to the Committee on any steps it proposed to take with the IAEA, before actually going ahead with it. This marks a change in the stance of the Left parties which have so far opposed even negotiations, arguing that it would amount to operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal
India is required to negotiate the safeguards agreement with IAEA as a key step towards operationalising the nuclear deal with the US.