G8 backs India nuclear deal, stresses on non-proliferation

July 9th, 2008 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Toyako (Japan), July 9 (IANS) In a clear sign that the India-US nuclear deal enjoys the support of key NSG countries, the G8 nations Wednesday came out in support of civil nuclear cooperation with India and hoped it will enhance the global non-proliferation regime. “We look forward to working with India, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other partners to advance India’s non-proliferation commitments and progress,” the G8 chairman said in a statement at the end of the three-day summit held in the northern Japanese resort of Hokkaido-Toyako.

The purpose, the statement underlined, was “to facilitate a more robust approach to civil nuclear cooperation with India to help it meet its growing energy needs in a manner that enhances and reinforces the global non-proliferation regime”.

The statement came hours after US President George W Bush met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on the sidelines of the G-8 summit.

After talks with Manmohan Singh, Bush, who has vigorously backed the deal as a foreign policy achievement of his tenure, said: “We talked about the nuclear deal and how important it is for our respective countries.”

The G-8 comprises the world’s wealthiest countries and includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US. They are also members of the 45-nation NSG.

The G-8’s backing for the nuclear deal is a boost to India’s case for “clean and unconditional exemption” from the NSG for global civil nuclear commerce. The nuclear deal will go to the NSG after India concludes a safeguards pact with the IAEA and this is ratified by the IAEA board.

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