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IAEA chief meets PM: Nuke energy top agenda
October 11, 2007 16:28 IST
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammad El Baradei on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] in New Delhi and is understood to have discussed issues pertaining to civilian nuclear energy with him.
The nuclear issue is believed to have come up in context of the country's growing energy needs for which India is in the process of finalising an atomic agreement with the US.
El Baradei is in favour of ending the restrictive regime against India in the nuclear field to enable the country meet its increasing energy needs.
El Baradei, who is on a five-day visit, was apprised of the details of the Indo-US nuclear deal by the Indian leaders and officials.
After meeting External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday, the IAEA director general said he wanted India to make full use of atomic energy for its growth.
India is to sign a safeguards agreement with IAEA to operationalise the deal with the US. However, in view of the Left opposition, no formal discussions on the agreement took place during El Baradei's meetings in New Delhi.
The UN nuclear watchdog chief said there was no deadline for negotiating the agreement and the agency will wait till New Delhi is ready to discuss with it after the 'domestic political dialogue' is over in India.
He suggested that negotiating the India-specific safeguards agreement will not be difficult as IAEA already has four such arrangements with this country.