India asks NSG members to abide by 2008 clean waiver

August 10th, 2011 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Against the backdrop of concerns here over the impact of Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG) new guidelines on the transfer of sensitive technologies, India Wednesday underlined that it expected the NSG countries to abide by the 2008 “clean waiver” and honour their commitment to engage in full civil nuclear cooperation with New Delhi.

“We are absolutely clear that as far as India is concerned, the basis of our international civil nuclear cooperation remains as contained in the special exemption from the NSG guidelines given to India on Sept 6, 2008,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in a statement in the Lok Sabha on nuclear enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology.

“The September 2008 exemption accords a special status to India. It was granted knowing full well that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Krishna stressed.

“As the prime minister had informed this august house on July 29, 2009, we were successful in securing a ‘clean’ exemption from the NSG in September 2008, i.e. the NSG members had agreed to transfer all technologies which are consistent with their national law,” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, the September 2008 decision is the basis and overarching framework that governs cooperation in civil nuclear matters between India and the NSG.”

“The issue is the full implementation of that understanding. This is what we expect and our major partners are committed to,” Krishna udnerlined.

“We expect all NSG members to honour their commitments as reflected in the 2008 NSG statement and our bilateral cooperation agreements,” he stressed.

In a historic step, the NSG granted a “clean waiver” to India on Sept 6, 2008, that paved the way for resuming full civilian nuclear cooperation with India after a hiatus of 34 years.

However, the NSG said at that time that it will take a decision on the transfer of ENR technologies later by consensus. During its meeting June 23-24, the NSG plenary adopted new guidelines that amounted to banning the transfer of ENR technologies to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The new guidelines stirred anxieties in India about their impact on the commitment NSG members had made to transfer technologies, a crucial part of the NSG waiver and India’s atomic agreements with other countries.

In parliament, Krishna sought to assuage these anxieties by mentioning assurances given by major nuclear power countries which have signed atomic accords with India, including the US, France and Russia, that nothing in the new NSG guidelines will detract from full civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

“I would also like to reassure honourable members that we will not accept preconditions for transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items and technology,” Krishna said.

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