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Home > News > PTI

NSG member Italy gives thumbs up to N-deal

October 10, 2007 22:13 IST

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Key Nuclear Suppliers Group member Italy [Images] on Wednesday hailed the Indo-US civil nuclear deal as a "positive step" and expressed hope that New Delhi will be able to negotiate safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, who held talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on a wide range of issues, said the Indo-US agreement will provide for verification of India's civilian nuclear facilities that was not possible till now.

"We see this (civil nuclear deal) as a positive agreement as it can provide verification of the civilian nuclear facilities by international facilities," D'Alema said in an interaction at a function in Delhi.

The deal will also possibly provide for screening of export of nuclear material by India, he said.

The Italian leader said there would be growing need for civilian nuclear power also for environmental reasons.

After conclusion of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in August, the NSG is to change its guidelines by consensus to allow the international community to have trade with India in the field.

India is currently engaged in garnering support among the NSG countries.

Expressing strong support for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, D'Alema said, "The nuclear test by India was not good news, but now we have to conceive the issue realistically."

"We have strong faith in IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and we hope India will be able to negotiate with him the safeguards rule," he said.

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