India, IAEA to reach an agreement over safeguards pact: Pranab

March 3rd, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Mar 3 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would arrive at an agreed text of an India-specific safeguards agreement.

While giving suo motu statement on foreign policy-related developments in Lok Sabha, Mukherjee said that India is currently engaged in negotiations with the IAEA to arrive at an agreed text of an India-specific Safeguards Agreement.

The conclusion of such an agreement will enable the Nuclear Suppliers Group to amend its guidelines for civil nuclear commerce in favour of India, he added.

It may be recalled that after too much of hue and cry, the Left parties gave the green signal to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to approach the IAEA for holding talks on an India-specific safeguards agreement.

However, the Left asked the Government not to initiate any accord, but bring back the draft of the safeguards agreement to the UPA-Left Committee.

Mukherjee said that Indias obligations regarding the Indo-US civil nuclear deal are only limited to the clauses signed under the 123 Agreement.

The Hyde Act is an enabling provision that is between the executive and the legislative organs of the US Government, said Mukherjee.

Talking about the opposition to the bilateral agreement, he said: We will continue to seek broad political consensus within the country to take forward our engagement on this issue with other countries.

During last few weeks lot has been talked about deadline relating to the Indo-US nuke-deal. It faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of America s Congress well before this year presidential polls.

Three steps are required to operationalise the deal that include, safeguards agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Groups charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress. (ANI)

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