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EU, US hail IAEA nod to safeguards pact

August 01, 2008 21:29 IST
Last Updated: August 01, 2008 21:46 IST

The United States and the European Union on Friday led the international community in promptly welcoming the International Atomic Energy Agency's approval of India-specific safeguards agreement, saying it will boost non-proliferation efforts and hoped that the Nuclear Suppliers' Group will too give a waiver to New Delhi [Images] for nuclear commerce.

Explained: IAEA safeguards agreement

"We welcome it. We believe the Agreement to be consistent with the high standards used by the IAEA for safeguards," a White House House official told PTI in Washington.

US Ambassador to India David C Mulford described the approval as a key step in the implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal and vowed to 'vigorously' obtain the exception in the NSG and clearance from the US Congress.

"Friday's approval of India-specific safeguards agreement by the IAEA Board of Governors is a key step towards implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation initiative.

Exclusive: What the IAEA agreement gives India

"We will work vigorously with India to obtain an India-specific exception in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the final US Congressional approval," Mulford said in statement.

Echoing sentiments of the US, Britain hailed the agreement as a 'significant contribution to energy and climate security'.

"We believe it will make a significant contribution to energy and climate security," British ambassador to the IAEA Simon Smith said in a statement.

"It also represents a gain for the non-proliferation regime by bringing India further into, an thereby strengthening, the broader non-proliferation framework."
The European Union said the agreement will 'reinforce' the non-proliferation regime and sought speedy finalisation of the additional protocol with IAEA. 

The draft India-specific safeguards, taken up by the IAEA Board of Governors on Friday, 'will reinforce the non-proliferation regime for which the European Union is committed', a statement issued by France [Images], which holds the presidency of the 27-member grouping, said.

Gregory L. Schulte, chief US envoy to the IAEA, said it would strengthen non proliferation.

"Friday's agreement represents a major step forward to opening civil nuclear cooperation with India while strengthening the world's non proliferation regime," he told media persons.

However, Iran, which is under international pressure over its nuclear programme, accused the US of double standards.

Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran's top representative to the UN agency, said the US policy would continue to undermine the credibility, integrity and universality of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

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