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Revised waiver draft for consultation among NSG members

Ajay Kaul | September 04, 2008 13:27 IST
Last Updated: September 04, 2008 13:43 IST

Even as Nuclear Suppliers' Group meeting to decide on India-specific waiver begins in Vienna [Images],the draft of the proposal for the India-specific exemption at the NSG has undergone further changes which include a provision for regular information by its head about New Delhi's [Images] adherence to its guidelines on global atomic trade, a move aimed at pacifying countries having reservations over the waiver to India.

The draft, which has been changed after demands by a number of NSG countries to address non-proliferation concerns, provides for the head of the 45-nation grouping informing the body of India's adherence to its guidelines after holding consultations with the country.

Anti-proliferation lobbyists feel that the amendment falls short of the demand made by some NSG countries for periodic review of India's adherence to the grouping's guidelines as a condition for granting the waiver, which has been opposed by New Delhi.

They say that New Delhi and Washington expect the countries that have reservations seeking regular review mechanism on nuclear trade with India to be satisfied with a "statement from the chair" to substitute for a firm NSG policy on key issues.

 The revised draft provides for the NSG chair "to confer and consult with India and keep the plenary informed of these consultations with a view to intensifying dialogue and partnership with New Delhi.

Another additional clause in the revised draft says that if one or more NSG countries consider that "circumstances have arisen which require consultation, participating governments will act as per the grouping's guidelines, an apparent reference to a situation in case India tests an atomic weapon.

It also envisages notification by each member-country to inform the others about the approved transfer of nuclear fuel and technologies to India.

The draft also requires India to support international efforts to limit the spread of and transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to countries which do not have them.

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