UPA Govt likely to brief Parliament on Indo-US N-deal on Monday

March 2nd, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Mar 2 (ANI): The UPA Government is expected to spell out its plans on India-US civil nuclear deal in Parliament on Monday when External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee makes a statement.

Mukherjee, who will be making the statement on ‘Foreign policy issues’, is expected to speak about the government’s intent on the civil nuclear deal and the progress made in this regard, sources said.

He will indicate the status of the negotiations with the IAEA on the safeguards agreement, which is a key step under the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Negotiators of India and IAEA concluded the fifth round of talks on the safeguards agreement on last Thursday and reported “considerable progress” towards the agreed text.

It is, however, not clear how far the two sides have been able to resolve the differences over issues like India’s right to build strategic fuel reserve and acknowledgement of its military nuclear programme by the global atomic watchdog.

The US has been pressing India to conclude the agreement with IAEA at the earliest, with Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns setting the March-end deadline for it.

Contending that it was now or never for India to get such a deal, Washington has been maintaining that if the agreement does not come before the US Congress by May-end or early June, it would be difficult to get it passed because of lack of time in the Presidential election year. (ANI)

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