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India clears IAEA hurdle, deal on fast track

Aug 02, 2008 09:40 AM IST India India
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Vienna/Colombo: The India-specific safeguards agreement gets the green signal from the IAEA Board Of Governors. Speaking on the outcome, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said, “It satisfies India's needs while maintaining all the agency's legal requirements. It is good for our collective efforts to move towards a world free from nuclear weapons, and I believe this agreement is good for India and good for the world and for non-proliferation.” From the SAARC summit in Colombo, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has been the prime mover behind the nuclear initiative conveyed his delight. Foreign secretary, Shivraj Menon said, “This is an important day for India and for the civil nuclear initiative. I'm grateful to the Board of Governors, our partners and friends in particular the US, for making this possible.” “El Baradei has played a significant role. I look forward to working with him and his agency to implement this accord.” Menon confirmed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group was fast tracking the waiver process for India. The group had scheduled its next plenary for August 21 and 22. In a message, US Ambassador Mulford said his country would move forward vigorously at the NSG. Commenting on the NSG process, Menon firmly said that India will not be flexible on clean and unconditional waiver as that is what they wanted and expected US to deliver The NSG had imposed sanctions against India after the 1974 nuclear tests at Pokhran, curbing India's nuclear ambitions. Today it is being directed to further them.