Progress in IAEA talks on additional protocol: India

September 19th, 2008 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) India Friday underlined that global nuclear commerce will begin only after it signs the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said talks on an “additional protocol” with the UN watchdog were making progress. “We have begun consultations on the additional protocol (on random, intrusive inspections of safeguarded nuclear facilities by IAEA monitors). We have exchanged concepts,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters here.

“The director-general of IAEA has noted the substantial progress in these discussions,” he added.

“In order for them to come into effect, we have to sign a safeguards agreement with the IAEA,” Menon said when asked whether India needed to sign the safeguards pact before starting nuclear contracts with foreign companies.

“These are actions that will proceed in parallel,” he pointed out.

The negotiation of an additional protocol is one of the important commitments made by New Delhi to Washington and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for resuming global nuclear commerce.

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