Bilateral nuclear pacts with others after US deal: Pranab

September 8th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Two days after the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) granted a waiver to India to resume global nuclear trade, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday said India would enter into bilateral pacts with other countries after the US Congress ratifies the India-US 123 pact.”Now, as far as the procedure is concerned, we have to wait for the ratification of the 123 agreement between India and the US. We have to supply other documents which the US Congress requires for ratification like the India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA,” Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a multi-nation conclave on health here.

Describing the approval of India’s pact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the NSG waiver as “passports to international nuclear trade”, he said: “Through the bilateral agreement with the supplying countries, we will actually enter nuclear trade”.

Technically, India can enter into bilateral civil nuclear agreements with Russia and France, with whom New Delhi has already finalised atomic pacts, after the IAEA pact and the NSG waiver.

But New Delhi is keen to wrap up its nuclear deal with the US before it signs pacts with Paris and Moscow as it may not go down well with the US, which initiated the process of bringing India into the nuclear fold and led the charge in the NSG to enable global civil nuclear cooperation with it.

India will discuss civil nuclear cooperation with France when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh goes to Paris towards the end of the month, but it is not yet clear whether the two countries will sign a bilateral pact.

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