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US confident N-deal with India will be implemented
Lalitha Vaidyanathan in Vienna | November 22, 2007 16:44 IST
As India continued negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the country-specific safeguards agreement, the US has expressed confidence that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal would be implemented.
Hours after IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar launched the talks, US Ambassador to the UN atomic watchdog Gregory Schultz said once ElBaradei agrees to endorse the safeguards pact, several countries will come forward to back the nuclear deal.
"Once the India-specific safeguards is approved by the IAEA board then it goes to the Nuclear Suppliers Group for getting exemptions for India for civilian nuclear programme," Schultz said on Wednesday.
He said the Indian negotiators, who will remain in Vienna after the return of Kakodkar to India, will carry out further consultations with the nuclear watchdog and then a special board meeting can be convened by the chairman of IAEA board for the approval of the safeguards agreement by consensus.
The 45-country NSG wants the safeguards agreement to be approved by the board to carry out the further process, he said.
NSG had a consultative meeting in Vienna last week where increasing number of countries were preparing to give exemption for India. The EU and Russia [Images] are already supporting India in this regard and South Africa, which is currently heading the NSG, is also backing New Delhi.
NSG will also hold a special meeting if required before March once the IAEA board approves India-specific safeguards agreement.