India agreement will go through: US envoy to IAEA

July 25th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

By Mehru Jaffer
Vienna, July 25 (IANS) Gregory L. Schulte, US ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expects the India-specific safeguards agreement to be approved by the agency’s board of governors at the special meeting to be held here Aug 1. Asked to intervene at a press conference addressed Friday by Christopher Hill, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Schulte said it was a hypothetical question whether Pakistan would vote against India at the Aug 1 meeting or not.

Asked if Pakistan’s objection to the safeguards agreement with the IAEA will further delay the accord from becoming operational, Hill requested Schulte to take the question.

Schulte said the agreement will benefit “everyone in the region, including India’s neighbours.”

Hill is in Vienna to seek the cooperation of the IAEA in helping North Korea to denuclearise.

“I am expecting that the board of governors will approve this agreement on Aug 1. It is a sound agreement based upon established safeguards principles. This is an agreement that has benefits for everyone in the region, including India’s neighbours,” said Schulte.

“Basically India is committed to move into the non proliferation mainstream and the safeguards agreement will allow India to put 14 of its 22 nuclear facilities under safeguards. In future all of India’s civil reactors will come under safeguards and this is a benefit to all,” added Schulte, permanent representative of the US to the UN Office in Vienna including the IAEA.

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