Richard Boucher meets Anand Sharma, discusses N deal

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New Delhi, Sep 1 (UNI) The United States is ''positive''about the civilian nuclear agreement with India getting clearance from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the September 4-5 meeting of the 45-nation nuclear cartel.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asia, Richard Boucher, who met Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma here today, said the US was working very hard with the NSG to ensure that the nuclear cartel approved the draft agreement at its upcoming meeting in Vienna.

''We have a very positive attitude. We are working very hard with the NSG,'' Mr Boucher told reporters after the meeting with Mr Sharma.

The 45-nation NSG which could not arrive at a consensus at its August 21-22 meeting on whether or not to grant a ''clean waiver'' to India, decided to meet again on September 4-5 to discuss the matter.

About 20 members of the 45-nation nuclear cartel had at the August 21-22 meeting proposed certain amendments to the draft agreement.

Consequently, the US decided to present a re-worked draft at the September meeting of the NSG.

However, India has made it clear that it would not endorse the civilian nuclear agreement, if certain issues drawn in ''red line'' in the draft to be placed before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on September 4-5 were not settled.

''There is no question of cosmetic or otherwise. What we are asking is that there are certain issues which have been drawn in red lines by us, because those are the commitments which have been made by our Prime Minister,'' National Security Advisor M K Narayanan told a televison news channel on August 30.

On those red lines we can't (give way) because that we have told Parliament. These are sacrosanct, if these are not met, we cannot endorse the agreement,'' he added.

UNI RB RJ GC1914

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