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No direct reference to nuclear tests in NSG waiver document

September 07, 2008 19:34 IST

The landmark waiver granted by the Nuclear Suppliers Group makes no direct reference to any future atomic tests by India and incorporates External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement reaffirming New Delhi's [Images] commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament goals.
    
The final waiver document, available on the Arms Control Association website, makes it clear that the NSG member
countries will implement the policy on civil nuclear cooperation with India "without prejudice to national positions".
    
The waiver, which takes note of India's energy needs, makes it incumbent on the NSG member nations to notify each other at each plenary about the transfers made by them to New Delhi.
    
The NSG chair will now "consult" India regarding changes to the NSG guidelines and its implementation. The revised
draft waiver asked the NSG chair to "review" proposed amendments to the guidelines.
    
The final waiver seeks "consultations" with India regarding proposed amendments, which will facilitate their effective implementation by India, while the draft talked about "participation" of India in the decisions regarding proposed amendments.
    
The NSG granted the India-specific countries after three days of hectic negotiations that saw scpetic countries like Austria, New Zealand [Images], Switzerland [Images] and Ireland, joined later by China, holding out against it for a long time before being persuaded to give in.

The final waiver makes it incumbent on the grouping's head to hold regular consultations over New Delhi's adherence
to its guidelines on global atomic trade. It provides for the head of the 45-nation grouping informing the body of India's adherence to its guidelines after holding consultations with the country.    

The document provides for the NSG chair "to confer and consult with India" with a view to intensification of dialogue
and cooperation with New Delhi. Another clause says that if one or more NSG countries consider that "circumstances have arisen which require consultations," participating governments "will meet and then act" as per the grouping's guidelines.
    
The draft waiver made no reference to a meeting of the participating governments. The final waiver also envisages notification by each member-country to inform the others about the approved transfer of nuclear fuel and technologies to India.
    



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