Indo-US nuke deal: India briefs IAEA, NSG members

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Vienna (Austria), Jul 19: Foreign Secretary of India, Shivshankar Menon on Friday, July 18 briefed the 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and representatives of 19 of the 45 nations that constitute the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) about the importance of the July 18, 2005 Indo-US nuclear deal.

Citing India's track record on the non-proliferation front despite not being a signatory to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Menon said it was crucial for India's energy requirements in the future. Menon was assisted in the briefing by Dr R B Grover, Director (Strategic Planning) and Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy. The briefing is being deemed as crucial as the Board will meet on August 1 to consider approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement that was signed on July 7. Approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement by the IAEA Board is a crucial step in the implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Among the 35 members of the IAEA Board of Governors, 26 are also part of NSG. Rest of the NSG countries were invited for the special briefing.

After firming up of the safeguards agreement, India has to get a waiver from the 45-nation NSG to allow it to have trade in the field with international community.

Earlier in the day, Menon met IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei and discussed issues related to the safeguards agreement.

Other members of the Indian delegation are the country's envoy to IAEA Saurabh Kumar and Joint Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy Gitesh Sarma.

ANI

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