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Rediff.com  » News » India respects Iran's civilian N-programme under IAEA: Speaker

India respects Iran's civilian N-programme under IAEA: Speaker

June 29, 2006 16:59 IST

India respects Iran's right to civilian nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said in Berlin on Thursday.

Chatterjee, after his talks with President of German Parliament Norbert Lammert, also said that the Indo-Pak peace process was on the right track and he was confident of its success.

"We respect Iran's right for civilian nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within the guidelines of the IAEA," the speaker said at a joint press conference with Lammert when asked about India's position on Tehran's nuclear programme.

His comments assume significance in view of the US House International Relations Committee approving a draft bill that seeks India's full and active participation in the US' efforts to dissuade, isolate, and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear weapons capability.

This clause has evoked objections from the Left parties, but the government has allayed fears on this count, pointing out that it was a non-binding provision entailing no responsibility for New Delhi.

During Chatterjee's talks with Lammert, the German side evinced keen interest in understandnig the Indo-US civil nuclear deal besides functioning of Indian democracy, Parliament and use of electronic voting machines.

On the Indo-Pak peace process, Chatterjee said, "It is driven by the people's urge for peace and normalcy. I am confident that it will succeed."

Asked about India's relations with China, he said: "We want friendship with all."

The speaker, who is leading a parliamentary delegation to Germany, unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Bundestag building.

"We, the parliamentarians and the people of India, stand honoured by your gesture of placing the Mahatma on high pedestal in your Parliament. In fact it is an honour for all the peace loving people across the world," he told his German counterpart during a brief ceremony.

Chatterjee also called for concerted efforts by the international community to wipe out terrorism.

During the meetings, members of the Indian delegation raised the issue of difficulties faced by Indians in getting German visa. The two sides discussed issues concerning trade and bilateral relations.

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