N deal, a strategic step for India: Pranab Mukherjee

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Agartala, Feb 13: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today reiterated that the Nuke deal was the strategic step towards India's future development and environmental sustainability and urged the Left parties to rethink about the deal.

Addressing newspersons here, Mr Mukherjee said the Left parties were opposing the deal only because of the involvement of US, but had it been with China or France it would have been different. ''We feel India should sign the deal as Civilian Nuclear Cooperation will help increase the share of civil nuclear power in our energy sector and at the same time help reduce the concerns regarding climate change and environment protection,'' Mr Mukherjee said.

He pointed out that only three countries, including India, had not yet signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and as a result, it would not get any support from both International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Supply Group (NSG) regarding specific safeguards arrangements.

''The NSG is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and retransfer of materials that might be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials. India would be benefited,'' Mr Mukherjee said.

He, however, indicated that India would go for the deal saying the Leftists were not pre-poll partners of the Congress and they had joined the UPA just to resist the communal forces from coming to power. Mr Mukherjee said the government was hopeful that the Left parties would not compromise on the future development of the country.

UNI

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