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India, IAEA have not finalised draft safeguard agreement
February 02, 2008 21:52 IST
India and the global atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency are yet to find a common ground on the draft safeguards agreement, necessary to operationalise the civilian nuclear deal with the United States.
The two sides have held four rounds of talks in Vienna to finalise the draft pact, which the Congress-led government has to place before the United Progressive Alliance-Left panel to get a political go ahead for the deal, that aims to get India out of nuclear wilderness.
"We have held four rounds of talks but do not have a draft yet," a source said.
The fourth round of talks were held between January 16 and January 20 in Vienna, where the Indian delegation was led by Ravi Grover, Head, Strategic Planning Group of the Department of Atomic Energy.
Meanwhile, the Atomic Energy Commission held a meeting in New Delhi under Chairman Anil Kakodkar.
The Commission was reportedly briefed on the developments on the negotiations for the safeguards agreement on the deal and other administrative issues of the nuclear establishment.
India and the IAEA have failed to reach an agreed text in the last round, with the issue of India's right to hold its strategic reserve to cater to lifetime supply for its civilian nuclear plant, being a sore point.
Only when the IAEA prepares a final agreed text, which has to be cleared by its Board of Governors, the US could go ahead with its talks with the 45-member Nuclear Supplier's Group to get a clean and unconditional exemption for India to do nuclear commerce internationally.