NSG waiver marks turning point in Canada-India ties: minister

September 8th, 2008 - 12:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Sep 8 (IANS) Canada’s decision to join the consensus in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) for a special waiver to allow nuclear trade with India is a turning point in the relations between the two countries, says Canadian Foreign Minister David Emerson. In a statement, the outgoing foreign minister said: “Canada’s decision to join the NSG consensus marks a turning point in our relations with India and will help to facilitate a more comprehensive and robust bilateral relationship.”

Emerson said India had made “substantial commitments to achieve the trust of the NSG, including a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency that will allow the agency to monitor additional civilian nuclear facilities in India”.

Reacting to the new stand by Ottawa, the Canada-India Foundation (CIF) hailed Canada and 44 other members of the NSG for allowing India to participate fully in international nuclear industry and trade. The foundation said the NSG’s decision was an important milestone for Canada-India relations.

It praised Prime Minister Stephen Harper and David Emerson for their leadership in seeking to end Canada’s 34 years of “hostility” towards India and begin a new era for strong bilateral relations.

“The decision to support India at the International Atomic Energy Agency and at the Nuclear Suppliers Group is truly historic,” said Ashok Kapur, senior fellow with the CIF and international expert on Canada-India nuclear relations.

“From today, India will be able to develop its clean nuclear energy capacity with modern technology to meet its growing demands and to participate in the global mainstream as a responsible nuclear power, and to work towards a fissile material cut-off treaty.”

With Canada’s ability to provide end-to-end solutions for India’s Candu based nuclear reactors, the two countries can now move forward to negotiate a nuclear cooperation agreement, the foundation added.

The 45-member NSG gave India its waiver in Vienna Saturday, after three days of talks.

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