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IAEA board of governors to meet over N-deal on August 1

July 14, 2008 22:18 IST
Last Updated: July 14, 2008 22:31 IST

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Indo-US Nuclear Tango

A crucial meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to build a consensus on India-specific safeguards accord essential to help implement Indo-US nuclear deal has been postponed from July 28 and is likely to be held on August 1, IAEA sources said.

They said informal consultations among 35 members of the IAEA board of governors were on seeking the consensus and a formal meeting is likely on August 1.

The safeguards agreement initialled by India and the IAEA on July 7, 2008, was circulated among all 144 member-countries of the world body on the same day.

The document was put on the Web site of the Ministry of External Affairs, a day after the Left parties accused the government of refusing to make it public.

The IAEA safeguards agreement is an essential step India has to take to integrate with international nuclear commerce before it secures a one-time waiver from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Normally, the IAEA board of governors meets 45 days after a country submits the draft safefuard agreement for circulation, something that was done on July 7.

However, in the case of India, the board took up with a sense of urgency due to the support the agreement has from the IAEA head Mohamed Elbaradei and the eagerness shown by India and the United States to wrap up their bilateral nuclear deal during the tenure of the George W Bush [Images] as American president.

After the deal goes through the IAEA and NSG, it needs to be voted by the US Congress.

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