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India pressing for modifications in US' NSG draft

Ajay Kaul in Colombo | August 01, 2008 17:39 IST

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India is not satisfied with the draft prepared by the US for consideration of the Nuclear Suplliers Group and is pressing for modifications in it, seeking "clean" and "unconditional" waiver from the 45-nation grouping.

Suggesting that the draft prepared by the US contained some conditionalities, officials accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] in Colombo for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit said India could not accept any conditions put by the NSG.

India maintains that if any country has any non-proliferation concerns with regard to its case, these should not be reflected in the NSG waiver.

The officials noted that several members of the NSG had no issues with India being given the exemption and if any country has some apprehensions, those could be addressed bilaterally with them instead of NSG being involved.

"Individual countries can raise their doubts when we go for bilateral agreements with them after getting the NSG waiver and we will discuss those with them," the officials said.

The comments assume significance as India's case is expected to be taken up by the NSG later this month, after the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors' approves the India-specific Safeguards Agreement.

The NSG waiver by consensus is essential for India to have cooperation with the international community.

"We want to sort out the issue (with the US) before the NSG takes up the matter," an officials said.

The officials conceded that not all members of the NSG were on board and said efforts are being made to bring them around. In this regard, some ministers and senior officials are travelling to various countries to convince them and allay their apprehensions, if any.




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