IAEA clearance to Indo-US 'N' deal within ''weeks'' : Sarkozy

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (UNI) French President Nicolas Sarkozy today said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was likely to give authorisation to the Indo-US Nuclear deal in a matter of weeks.

''To the best of my knowledge, it's only a matter of weeks and the authorisation will be given,'' the French President said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their talks here, the French President said in view of India's commendable non-proliferation track record, France would advocate India's case with international organisations and at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

France, which takes the Presidency of the European Union (EU) in July, is an important member of the 45-nation NSG whose nod is crucial for the implementation of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear agreement.

''France will be India's advocate with the international community for India acquiring civilian nuclear energy...India is considered a responsible nuclear power, which is sticking to IAEA guidelines. So France will be the advocate,'' President Sarkozy said in reply to a question.

dR Singh, in reply to a question, said international negotiations on issues like civilian nuclear energy, took time. Nevertheless, India's discussions with the IAEA were moving forward and would be completed successfully without loss of further time.

''One must recognise that international negotiations do take time. Our discussions with the IAEA are moving forward and can be concluded successfully without loss of further time.'' Dr Singh said.

UNI RB BDP KP2108

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