Fresh round of NSG talks to take place today

September 6th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Vienna , Sept 6 (ANI): With China joining the Group of Six like-minded countries that have expressed reservations in granting India-specific waiver, the crucial two day meeting of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers” Group (NSG) remained inconclusive and a fresh meeting is slated for Saturday.

The US battled hard overnight to clinch the India-specific waiver for India from the NSG with diplomats moving back and forth poring over a revised draft.

China appeared to have raised concerns that put roadblocks in the way of a consensus.

The six countries holding out for tougher conditions to be written into the draft proposal granting India an exemption from the NSGs rules are Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland. They have raised questions at the NSG meeting, particularly with regard to the issue of nuclear testing.

According to diplomatic sources, the number of countries pushing for approval of the exemption has also grown. Under the 45-nation cartels rules of consensus decision-making, however, even one country has the right to block a decision.

Suspense mounted over the fate of the revised draft which was under discussion at the nuclear club with Indian and US officials going over the changes sceptic countries like Austria and New Zealand insisted on incorporating.

Austria gave enough indications that “more work still” needs to be done that will enable India cross a major hurdle in operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal.

“Some work still needs to be done. A number of mirror images need to be added to the current talks and ideas in the draft. We want to have more effective and qualitatively improved security architecture,” said Peter Launsky, an Austrian foreign ministry official.

Launsky said some “auxilliary measures” required to be incorporated in the crucial document.

However, the US maintained that “significant progress” was made and remained optimistic over securing the exemption.

Five rounds of deliberations on the second day saw diplomats and officials battle for a consensus that is needed to operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation. (ANI)

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