UPA-Left meeting on N-deal inconclusive, will be held again in April

March 17th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by admin  

Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, Mar 17 (ANI): The crucial meeting between the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Left coalition partners on the much-touted Indo-US civil nuclear deal ended inconclusively on Monday with both sides likely to meetagain in April.

According to sources, the UPA Government presented the outcome of the draft safeguards agreement finalised with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for before the Left Parties.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the Left leaders have asked for further discussion on the bilateral cooperation.

Mukherjee, who heads the committee, exuded confidence that the government would be able to convince the Left parties.

On Sunday, Siddhartha wrote in www.politicsparty.com that Congress president Sonia Gandhi wanted the meeting to take place again in April.

The UPA-Left Committee had earlier allowed the Government to hold negotiations with the IAEA on the condition that it should come back to the committee once the negotiations are over to appraise it of the progress.

On Saturday, Mukherjee had said that differences pertaining to the deal with the Left parties would be resolved.

“I am hopeful of sorting out the issue (with the Left),” Mukherjee had said.

During last few weeks, lot has been talked about deadline relating to the Indo-US nuke deal. It faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of America ’s Congress well before this year Presidential polls.

Three steps are required to operationalise the deal namely, safeguards agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group’s charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress.

Mukherjee had earlier said that the survival of the UPA Government is more important than the deal and that the Left parties have to be taken on board.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also said in Parliament that the Government’s attempt is to evolve the broadest possible consensus on the issue.

Last week, Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary A B Bardhan had said the Left Parties would not destabilise the UPA Government even if differences over the deal compel them to withdraw their support.

Bardhan said that the Left Parties might stay neutral or let the Government work in caretaker capacity.

The Left, which has over 60 members in the Lok Sabha, has been giving outside support to the UPA Government since 2004. (ANI)

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