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NSG waiver: Hectic negotiations on in Vienna
Ajay Kaul | September 06, 2008 00:44 IST
Hectic negotiations on India getting NSG waiver are going down to the wire with last-minute changes being pushed by sceptic countries to incorporate their concerns in the draft to hammer out a consensus.
Coverage: Indo-US Nuclear Tango
After four rounds of discussions that spilled over late into Friday night, Austria, which was among a couple of countries holding out, gave enough indications that 'more work still' needs to be done that will enable India cross a major hurdle in operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal.
"Some work still needs to be done. A number of mirror images need to be added to the current talks and ideas in the draft. We want to have more effective and qualitatively improved security architecture," said Peter Launsky, an Austrian foreign ministry official.
Launsky said some 'auxiliary measures' required to be incorporated in the crucial document.
Diplomats were working late into the night to incorporate changes in the revised draft waiver at the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting with the US walking the tightrope to convince the naysayers.
Earlier in the day, India's case for a clean and unconditional waiver got a boost after New Delhi's reaffirmation of its commitment to non-proliferation goals.
"This is a very significant statement, which was discussed by the NSG members and praised and welcomed by those in attendance. So on this basis we believe a momentum has been generated in the discussions," US acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Rood told media persons after the morning round of discussions on the second day of deliberation.
One western diplomat did not rule out a third meeting of the NSG if a consensus was elusive at the current meeting. There was even speculation that the meeting could be convened around September 21.
A few countries are still said to be having some questions, particularly on the issue of nuclear testing by India, when they put forth their expressions during the morning session on the second day of the NSG meeting.
Rood emphasised that his country remained committed to securing the exception for India and was optimistic on achieving the goal.
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