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Home > News > PTI

PM meets Sonia, Govt indicates intention to approach IAEA

November 15, 2007 18:50 IST

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On the eve of the crucial United Progressive Alliance-Left meeting on the India-United States civil nuclear deal, the government on Thursday indicated it would approach the International Atomic Energy Agency for negotiations on safeguards agreement.

The indication came from a senior minister after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images].

Dr Singh also held consultations with some of his senior cabinet colleagues including External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

The minister said the government was contemplating approaching the IAEA and that Friday's meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal was important in this regard.

At Friday's meeting, a formal view on this is expected to be consolidated as the Left parties have hinted at softening their opposition to the government's desire to approach the IAEA.

The development assumes significance as it comes a day after the prime minister met senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader A B Vajpayee in an apparent attempt to seek the opposition's support to the nuclear deal.

Lok Sabha will discuss the nuclear deal on November 27 after the return of the prime minister from a two-nation tour of Singapore and Uganda, and the government has offered the debate in the Rajya Sabha on November 28.

The prime minister also held separate consultations with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi and also floor managers of the ruling side on the day of the start of the winter session of Parliament, which is expected to be a stormy one.

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