India to work with NSG for unconditional exemption: Menon

August 2nd, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Colombo, Aug 2 (ANI): India will work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for a clean and unconditional exemption to facilitate full nuclear commerce with the rest of the world, said India’’s Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on the sidelines of the ongoing SAARC Summit.
“India is consistent in demanding a clean and unconditional exemption to resume nuclear commerce with NSG member countries. Once the exemptions are granted, New Delhi will work on specific detailed agreements with individual countries, inter-governmental or otherwise before placing contracts for nuclear materials, equipment and reactors,” Menon said.
The statement came just after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors approved the India-specific safeguards agreement through consensus on Friday.
The NSG plenary meeting is scheduled to be held on August 21 and 22 to consider exemptions for India, added Menon.
He further said that after the go ahead by the IAEA, India still needs a waiver from the 45-member NSG. “India will do its best to move forward with the next steps for implementing the nuclear initiative,” he said.
On IAEA’’s approval of India-specific safeguards agreement, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in a statement said, “I am delighted to hear that the IAEA Board of Governors has decided, by consensus, to approve the India specific safeguards agreement. This is an important for India, and for civil nuclear initiative for the resumption of India’’s cooperation with our friends abroad.”
In the statement read out by Menon, Dr. Singh said the civil nuclear initiative was good for India and the world.
Thanking members of the IAEA Board of Governors, partners and friends abroad, and, in particular, the USA, for making this important step in the IAEA possible, Dr. Singh said, “As we move forward towards our goal of sustainable development and energy security, the peaceful uses of atomic energy will play an increasingly important role.”
The Prime Minister said that the Director General of the IAEA, Dr. Mohammad El Baradei, had played a significant role in facilitating the approval of the India-specific safeguards, and added: “We look forward to working with him and his Agency in implementing this agreement. I am deeply appreciative of the historic significance of this milestone in our cooperation with the IAEA and the international community in peaceful uses of atomic energy.”
Meanwhile, welcoming the IAEA’’s approval of India-specific safeguards agreement, the US and EU said it would boost non-proliferation efforts and hoped that the NSG will too give a waiver to New Delhi for nuclear commerce.
Describing the approval as a key step in the implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, US Ambassador to India David C Mulford vowed to “vigorously” obtain the exception in the NSG and clearance from the US Congress.
British Ambassador to the IAEA Simon Smith said in a statement that it would make a significant contribution to global energy and climate security. (ANI)

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