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India pins its hopes on US, France for NSG nod

Jaishree Balasubramanian in Kuala Lumpur | August 12, 2008 17:21 IST

India has said that a 'small number' of members of the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier's Group have worries about non-proliferation issues and the grant of waiver to New Delhi [Images] will depend on persuasion by the United States, France [Images] and others.

National Security Adviser M K Narayanan suggested that 95 per cent of the countries recognise that the major constraint in India's progress is absence of clean energy and energy at affordable prices.

                                    Coverage: The Nuclear Deal 

"We have a small number (of countries) worried about non-proliferation. If we can get over that, we are over the hill," Narayanan told the Straits Times, a Singapore daily.

"...that will also depend on what kind of persuasion the US, France and others can bring to bear," he said ahead of the August 21 meeting of the Vienna-based Nuclear Suppliers Group.

                                   'Clear waiver at NSG is a fantasy'

Asserting that India's point of view has received a broad support during discussions with individual countries, he said, "They have understood India is unique in many ways. We are hopeful. Further efforts are being made before NSG consultation process and people see India as a country with a future, one already on the scene."

He said several nations now recognised that the major constraint in India's progress was absence of clean energy and energy at affordable prices.

                                      Explained: The Nuclear Deal                                    

"That's the line we have projected and it has gone down well with 95 percent of the countries."

Praising International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei for his speech vociferously backing Indo-US nuclear deal at the UN watchdog's meeting on August 1, ahead of the adoption of the India- specific safeguards agreement, Narayanan said India needed another such 'stellar' performance by someone at the NSG meet.

                                       Explained: The IAEA agreement

"If somebody could make a similar kind of speech in NSG and with the same degree of authority we would have had it made," he said.

Referring to concerns about India resorting to nuclear testing in future, Narayanan said India had a voluntary moratorium on testing and it was a 'non-issue'.

                                           Let the nuclear deal go through: Brajesh Mishra

"We have no intention of breaking that moratorium unless circumstances compel us. If circumstances compel, whether 123 agreement existed or not, we would do it because it is in our supreme national interest," he told the daily, adding "I think it is a non-issue."

He noted that the agreement did not provide for supplying India with enrichment and reprocessing technology from the US but hoped that as time progressed, it too would be given to New Delhi.

"The one thing we didn't get out of it was enrichment and reprocessing technology which the US does not give anybody. Hopefully as time progresses we will get that," Narayanan said.

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