India begins another round of talks with the IAEA

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Vienna (Austria), Feb 25 : Senior officials of the Indian Government and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) have begun another round of talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) here from on Monday for negotiating a safeguards agreement.

The India Specific safeguards agreement is a must along with a Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver for implementing the July 18, 2005 US-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

A delegation led by Mr. R B Grover, a top official in the Department of Atomic Energy, is in Vienna for the talks which are expected to go on till the month-end.

India and the IAEA have so far had four rounds of talks in Vienna since November last year, apart from several informal consultations to work out the agreement.

Last week, pressing India to speed up implementation of the nuclear agreement, three American Senators said the negotiations with IAEA and Nuclear Suppliers Group should be wound up by May, failing which New Delhi will not get a similar deal.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, Director General, IAEA, has established a Commission of Eminent Persons for making recommendations to the Board of Governors, regarding longer term priorities and funding of IAEA.

He has invited Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to be a member of this Commission.

The first meeting of the Commission is being held at Vienna, Headquarters of the IAEA from 24 - 26 February, 2008. Dr. Chidambaram is now in Vienna attending the first meeting of the Commission.

ANI

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