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NSG support: India seeks US help

August 02, 2008 16:47 IST

After getting the IAEA nod for a safeguards agreement, India today hoped the US will "deliver" in securing for it "clean and unconditional exemption" from the Nuclear Suppliers Group which meets later this month.

"We look forward for a clean and unconditional exemption and it is for the US to deliver as per the July 18, 2005 statement," Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said in Vienna [Images] ahead of his departure to India.

Kakodkar, who had spearheaded the tough negotiations at the Friday meeting of the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors, said "I am hopeful that NSG will appreciate India's position and go ahead with the clean waiver."

However, Kakodkar struck a note of caution taking into consideration the challenges that may confront India at the 45-nation NSG, which is expected to meet on August 21.

"Of course, in international affairs, we have to wait till it happens on the ground level," he said. New Delhi [Images] is lobbying hard to rope in support from a non-committal China

and convince countries like Brazil [Images], Iran, Japan [Images], Ireland, Austria and Switzerland [Images] that voiced reservations on the safeguards agreement.

With the IAEA approval, India now needs the go-ahead from the NSG and then await the approval of the American Congress to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal opening the doors for nuclear commerce after over three decades of isolation.

With India's impeccable track record of safety and non-proliferation, Kakodkar hoped that the members of NSG would be in a position to understand its needs and give a clean and unconditional waiver.

He said while every country at the IAEA meet had a viewpoint, the nuclear watchdog's Director General Mohamed El aradei spoke about a larger picture of ultimate goal of ensuring energy security and development in the world.

ElBaradei said he was hopeful that NSG will work favourably for India as New Delhi has committed itself to harmonise its laws with export control policies of the NSG.

On its part, the US said it would keep up the momentum as there was still "a lot of work" to be done and "issues" addressed ahead of the key NSG meeting on the nuclear deal.

 "We still have a lot of work to do," US Ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory L Schulte, told NDTV after the IAEA meeting."There are issues that we will have to address."

 The US Ambassador said 25 of the IAEA board members came out in "strong support" of the safeguards agreement and "just a couple" of countries raised questions but in the end they joined the consensus too.

"We have to move forward to the NSG. We are going to keep this momentum up," Schulte was quoted as saying. "The countries acknowledge India's requirements and legitimacy of India asking for access to nuclear energy and they seem to acknowledge that this is in their benefit."  





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