India holds talks with NSG troika

May 12th, 2009 - 12:15 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) More than eight months after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted waiver to New Delhi allowing the resumption of global nuclear commerce, India Monday held talks with an NSG troika comprising Germany, South Africa and Hungary.
The Indian delegation, led by Vivek Katju, special secretary (Political and International Organizations), in the external affairs ministry, held talks with the NSG team led by representative of its current chair, Viktor Elbling of Germany.

The NSG delegation also included representatives from South Africa (the previous chair of NSG) and Hungary (the next chair of NSG). India has had meetings with the NSG troika since 2004.

The two sides held talks on spurring the restoration of global civil nuclear commerce after a gap of nearly three-and-a-half decades and discussed steps by India to place its atomic facilities under international safeguards.

“The discussions were positive and forward looking and included an exchange of views on future cooperation in different areas,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

In a landmark decision, the NSG, a global nuclear cartel Sep 6 rewrote its rules, and allowed global nuclear trade with India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The NSG’s India-specific waiver 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.”

India has already inked bilateral civil nuclear pacts with the US, France and Russia. Kazakhstan, a uranium-rich country, is set to become the fourth country to formalize a broad-based civil nuclear agreement with India by the end of this month. Early this year, India sealed a uranium purchase deal with Kazakhstan.

India is likely to get up to 2,500 tonnes of uranium for its atomic nuclear reactors under international safeguards from Kazakhstan under this uranium purchase agreement.

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