India in touch with NSG : Menon

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New Delhi, Jul 21 (UNI) Even as Parliament debates the future of the Manmohan Singh government on the issue of the Indo-US civili nuclear agreement, India today said it is in touch with the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for clean and unconditional exemption permitting nuclear trade with other countries to meet its energy requirements.

''We are in touch with the Nuclear Suppliers Group... We have made it clear that we expect a clear and unconditional exception which permits use to have a nuclear trade with the world,'' Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said today.

The Foreign Secretary who was addressing a press conference after talks with his Pakistani counterpart to launch the fifth round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP), said during his recent visit to Vienna, he had met the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Mr Menon met the IAEA DG in Vienna on July 18 and briefed him on India's energy needs.

Some questions about the Safeguards Agreement between India and the IAEA were asked.

''We answered their questions...,'' he said adding that they believed that support (within the NSG) was increasing.

Replying to a question, the Foreign Secretary said according to the July 18, 2005, agreement, the US would have to approach the NSG.

Meanwhile, India was also in touch with the (individual) NSG members.

The Draft Safeguards Agreemeent which was circulated among the 35 members of the IAEA Board of Governors on July 7, will be taken up by the Board on August one.

UNI RB ARB RN2025

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