US readying to present 123 for congressional approval: Mulford

August 5th, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The US Tuesday said it was readying to present the 123 civil nuclear agreement for congressional approval in early September after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) changes its rules in India’s favour by August end. “It can be presented to the US Congress in early September along with presidential determination,” US Ambassador David Mulford told reporters here from the US via telephone.

The US envoy, however, did not spell out a time line for congressional approval which is required to implement the nuclear deal. “It is not possible to speak on behalf of the US Congress. The US Congress is a sovereign body which has its own procedures,” the envoy said.

Mulford also said the US was finalising a draft for clean exemption which would be presented to the NSG and will share it with India in a “matter of days”.

The envoy assured that the US will push for a “clean waiver” from the NSG. “We hope more NSG members will realise the aim of the deal is to normalise civil nuclear relations with India,” he said.

Mulford also said that Washington has launched a major diplomatic offensive at all levels to garner support for the India-US deal at the NSG, and “We are working closely with the indian government on the language of the waiver sought in the NSG”. “Obviously, we want this process to move quickly,” he said.

The NSG is to meet Aug 21 take a decision on changing its rule to facilitate global nuclear commerce with India.

The landmark India-US nuclear deal passed its first global test Aug 1 when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unanimously approved an India-specific safeguards agreement. Within minutes of the IAEA board’s approval, the US underlined that it would work vigorously with India to get an India-specific waiver at the NSG.

India is a not a member of the NSG and would have to rely on the US and some other western countries to get the 45-member group’s waiver

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