I am grateful to IAEA governors, friends abroad: PM on IAEA approval

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Colombo, Aug 1(UNI) Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today said the International Atomic Energy Board's(IAEA's) decision to approve India specific safeguards agreement by consensus was of historic significance, stating it is a "move forward towards our goal of sustainable development and energy security".

In a statement here this evening after the 35-member board of the IAEA unanimously approved the safeguards agreement, a key step towards readmitting India into the privileged world of nuclear commerce, the Prime Minister said, "The civil nuclear intiative is good for India and good for the world. As we move forward towards our goal of sustainable development and energy security, the peaceful uses of atomic energy will play an increasingly important role".

"This is an important day for India, and for our civil nuclear intiative for the resumption of India' cooperation with out friends abroad", the statement further stated.

''I am grateful to the members of the IAEA Board of Governors, to our partners and friends abroad, and, in particular, to the US, for making this important step in the IAEA possible,'' he said.

He said Director General of the IAEA Dr Mohammed El Baradei had also played a significant role and ''we look forward to working with him and his agency in implementing this agreement." The safeguards agreement is unique as it breaks new ground by providing uninterrupted fuel supplies for Indian reactors and acknowledges New Delhi's right to build a strategic reserve of fuel.

UNI/RB/SMA LPB AKJ KP2111

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