NSG meet to decide on India specific waiver begins today

September 4th, 2008 - 11:32 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Sep 4 (ANI): Amid continued reservations of some member countries over granting waiver to India, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will hold a crucial two-day meeting in Vienna from today to consider the initiative.
The NSG will consider a revised draft that is being presented before the 45-nation grouping after amendments following demands by at least 15 countries during the August 21-22 meeting.
Countries like New Zealand and Austria, which are still not satisfied with the revised draft, are expected to voice their concerns over non-proliferation issues.
On studying the draft circulated to them by Germany, the current Chair of the NSG, these countries feel that the amendments in the text are only cosmetic in nature and conditions are not attached. Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held a Congress Working Committee meeting late last night with his senior colleagues to discuss issues in the wake of the reported 26-page document that contains an assertion by the Bush Administration that its assurances of nuclear supplies to India are not meant to insulate it against the consequences of a nuclear test.
Dr. Singh told the meeting that we have the right to test and the US has the right to react.
New Delhi made it clear there is no change in its stand on the issue of nuclear testing. External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Navtej Sarna said, India’’s position on this issue is well known.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told that the Government cant go beyond the commitment made to Parliament on the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation. India has maintained that if conditions are attached to the waiver, it could walk away. However, New Delhi refused to be drawn into a controversy over its agreement on civil nuclear cooperation with the US after the secret document.
“We do not, as a matter of policy, comment on internal correspondence between different branches of another government,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna.
“We will be guided solely by the terms of the bilateral agreement between India and the United States, the India Specific Safeguards Agreement and the clean waiver from the NSG, which we hope will be forthcoming in the meeting of the NSG on September 4-5, 2008,” he added.
Washington too down played the disclosures made in the US State Department document and said that there was nothing new in it which has not been shared with India or the US Congress.
“This letter contains no new conditions and there is no data in this letter which has not already been shared in an open and transparent way with members of the Congress and with the Government of India”" US Ambassador to India David C. Mulford said in a statement. (ANI)

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