Canada says nuclear deal with India soon

May 28th, 2009 - 8:56 am ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, May 28 (IANS) Canada Wednesday said that the on-going talks with India on resumption of nuclear ties may soon end in a nucelar deal with New Delhi.

The two countries have reportedly already exchanged a draft agreement on the proposed deal. A team of Canadian nuclear experts met officials of the Atomic Energy Commission in Mumbai last week to give the final touches to the draft.

Canadian International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, who signed a memorandum of understanding with India during his visit earlier this year, said Wednesday that the two countries might sign the nuclear deal very soon.

“We are very close to having an agreement with India related to the civilian use of nuclear energy for the purpose of helping them meet their energy needs, the minister told the Canadian Press.

“We are close. I don’t like to put an hour and a day on it, but these are fairly complicated agreements and we’re just about there,” he said.

“There is just a few items left,” said Day.

Under the deal, Canadian nuclear exports cannot be used for military purposes, the minister said. He said Canadian companies were looking at selling nuclear reactors worth between $50 and $150 billion in the coming years.

“So there’s a great opportunity here for the Canadian industry,” he said.

Canada imposed nuclear sanctions on India after its 1974 nuclear test, and eased them last year by voting in New Delhi’s favour at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Eyeing a huge market in India for its atomic companies, Ottawa resumed negotiations with New Delhi last year to resume nuclear trade.

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