Pranab Mukherjee meets Karat on Indo-US nuke deal

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New Delhi, June 17 : External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat on Monday evening and sought the Left's support for an India specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

During an hour long talk, Mukherjee reiterated the government's request to allow them to finalise the India-specific safeguards agreement before IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradei completes his term in July.

Mukherjee is believed to have told Karat that the communists' apprehension that finalising the IAEA pact would put the contentious agreement on autopilot is wrong.

According to sources, Mukhhrjee told Karat that the Left has to trust the government and that the government has not taken any steps without the communist allies' consent so far.

Karat reportedly told Mukherjee that the Left still has apprehensions over the deal but he would discuss the minister's new appeal with the other Left allies.

The Left parties, which extend crucial outside support to the government, have been strongly opposing implementation of the deal with the US, arguing that it would compromise the country's security interests and independent foreign policy.

Left parties have warned the government of serious consequences if it implemented the deal and the two sides are currently engaged in talks to end the deadlock.

UPA-Left coordination committee holds a crucial meeting on Wednesday.

ANI

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