India thanks NSG’s Big Four for ‘unique’ waiver

September 6th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday thanked the US, Britain, France and Russia for pushing the “unique” waiver for India in the NSG and underlined that the nuclear deal was in accordance with assurances the government has given to parliament.“I am happy to inform you that the NSG have adopted a statement on civil nuclear cooperation which will enable India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with the international community to meet its energy and developmental requirements,” a beaming Mukherjee told reporters here while formally announcing the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) decision to grant a waiver to India.

“We welcome this decision and thank the members of the NSG. You will appreciate that this also constitutes a major landmark in our quest for energy security,” he said.

“This decision will open a new chapter in India’s cooperation with other countries in peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Mukherjee underlined.

Mukherjee’s statement Friday reiterating India’s commitment to voluntary moratorium on testing and universal nuclear disarmament played a key role in persuading sceptics to back the nuclear deal.

“It is a development of major significance to global energy security and would also be a contribution to meeting the challenges of climate change,” he said.

“The NSG waiver is a unique development that has been achieved in accordance with commitments given to parliament and the people of India, and is consistent with India’s national interest,” Mukherjee assured with an eye on domestic critics of the deal.

The minister conveyed deep appreciation for untiring efforts of the US, Britain, France and Russia and former chairs of the NSG - Germany, South Africa and Brazil - to help India in the nuclear grouping.

He also thanked US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their “personal contribution and commitment” to taking forward the India-US nuclear deal.

“This landmark achievement is the direct outcome of the vision, personal commitment and guidance provided by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh,” he said.

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