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US confident of IAEA, NSG nod for N-deal

July 25, 2008 21:31 IST

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Ahead of the crucial International Atomic Energy Agency meeting, the US on Friday said it was confident of making a very good case before the United Nations atomic watchdog and the Nuclear Suppliers Group for the nuclear deal with India because of New Delhi's impressive non-proliferation record and would expeditiously push the agreement in the Congress.

"The civil nuclear deal is important for the United States, important for India, but also important in helping to advance the nonproliferation framework, the regime in which countries are operating," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] told reporters in Perth.

"I think that's why the deal has received the support of Mohamed El Baradei (chief) of the IAEA because India has a very good record on proliferation," Rice said at a joint press meet with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith who gave the clearest indication so far that his country is ready to back the deal at the Nuclear Suppliers' Group despite its refusal to sell Uranium to India, asserting that they were two different issues.

In her first public comments after Manmohan Singh [Images] government won the trust vote, Rice said "we welcome the parliamentary vote." Rice said the US will continue to consult with countries of the IAEA Board of Governors and with the NSG.

"But I think we can make a very good case that this is a not just a landmark deal, but a positive landmark deal," the top US official said.

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