India to seek full integration with global nuke mainstream: Anand Sharma

November 14th, 2007 - 2:25 am ICT by admin  
New Delhi also ruled out any timeframe being set for reaching a safeguards accord with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“India will continue to seek full integration with global (nuclear) mainstream,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said on board the PM’s special aircraft while it was on its way to Johannesburg from Nigeria.

Sharma said he would not comment on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tele-conversation with US President George Bush on Monday.

“We have already made a statement. It will not be appropriate for me to comment on it. But I am making one thing clear, India will continue to seek full integration with the global mainstream.

“In this chapter of Indian renaissance, surely isolation from global mainstream is going to hurt. But I am sure that India’s return to nuclear regime and removal of restraints of the last three decades will truly be serving the national interest,” Sharma said.

“To remain isolated in civil nuclear cooperation does not serve our national interest. We will have to end it,” he said.

Sharma said that the UPA government is a strong and stable government and not a single issue government.

“After all, we are in a coalition. And in a coalition, efforts are always made to evolve a consensus on every issue,” Sharma said.

To another question, Sharma said Brazil and South Africa, both members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, have their own positions on nuclear proliferation, but have expressed support to India at the NSG.

Sharma dismissed as incorrect the perception that India was obsessed about acquiring uranium.

“When you look at the energy scene, India’s requirements are growing fast and it will be huge and enormous. Therefore, any country and its political leadership look at all the available energy resources and to have an ideal energy mix. We will access clean source of energy and nuclear energy is one of them. If you look at any other countries like France, Russia and Germany, nuclear power is a major source of energy,” he said.

India also has a dedicated civilian nuclear energy programme and “we shall continue to expand and develop it,” Sharma said.

To another question, Sharma said “nuclear energy is not a unidimensional issue and we have to look at the larger picture of cutting edge technology and duel use. India has its own indigenous civil nuclear programme for peaceful use.”

He went on to add that IAEA Director General Mohammed El Baradei has said that India is emerging as a global player which is universally acknowledged and it will be able to export nuclear technology. (ANI)

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