Pranab hopeful of a positive outcome during Friday’s UPA-Left meeting

November 14th, 2007 - 10:31 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 14 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday hinted at the thaw between the UPA and the Left Front over the contentious Indo-US civil nuclear deal, and stated that he was hopeful of ’something positive’ to come out from the Friday’s meeting with the Left leaders.
The Friday’s meeting of the special committee of the UPA and the Left on the nuclear deal is expected to give the Government a green signal to negotiate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for India-specific safeguard agreements.
“Let’s wait and see what happens,” Pranab quipped when asked about the likely decision that would be taken at the special committee’s meeting, which will meet for the sixth time on Friday.
“When we are running a coalition government, the important international issues like these require the support of all the coalition partners and supporters. Also, it requires support through common consensus, and just now we are engaged in building that consensus,” Mukherjee said on the sidelines of a function here.
Meanwhile, the Left Front also showed softening of their stance over the operationalising of the nuclear deal.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader, Gurudas Das Gupta, while speaking to ANI, said that the ‘flexibility’ in the Left’s stand has come after repeated requests by the UPA Government to allow them to move forward to operationalise the deal.
“We had shown flexibility because the government wanted, it is in response to the government request……because they have been repeatedly every now and then been asking,” Das Gupta said.
Refuting the reports that Left’s truce on the issue is because of the crisis in its bastion West Bengal over the deteriorating law and order situation in Nandigram, the CPI leader said, “There is no inter-relation with anything else that is happening in the country.”
The Left Front leaders, who have been opposing any negotiations with the IAEA as the believed that it would construe to operationalisation of the deal, has reportedly agreed to allow the government to initiate the talks with the international body, but at the same time no agreement would be signed without their approval.
The Winter-session of the Parliament, beginning Thursday, would take up the nuclear deal issue and would debate on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s August 13 statement in the Lok Sabha after the formalisation of the 123-agreement.
Three more steps are required for the deal with the US for getting nuclear fuel supply for India’s civilian plants that include, India-specific safeguard agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the charter of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) and the ratification of the 123-agreement by the US Congress. (ANI)

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