IAEA waiting for India to discuss safeguards agreement

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Mumbai, Oct 9 (UNI) Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the UN's Nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today said the agency was waiting for India to approach it with a formal request to discuss the Safeguards agreement of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

He was responding to questions by reporters on whether the IAEA has been approached for discussing the safeguards agreement.

''The Indian side will approach me for talks when they decide to do so. It is a government decision. Until they make the decision, I will wait for them to come to Vienna and make a formal request,''Dr Elbaradei added.

Earlier, addressing the scientific community at the Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education in Cancer facility at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai, he described India as a valuable partner in development of nuclear technology and arms control.

Asked if he would have a fruitful discussion with the government in the light of present UPA-Left standoff over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, ElBaradei said, ''I have always had fruitful discussions with the Indian government and it will be so in the future as well.'' At the facility, he got a glimpse of the Indian expertise in adapting nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Dr ElBaradei also had a meeting with Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar.

UNI

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