NSG waiver will pave way for India's entry into civilian nuke trade

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Kolkata, Sep 7 (UNI) A day after the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) agreed to a waiver for India ending its 34-year nuclear isolation, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that it would pave the way for India's entry into civilian nuclear trade with the international community.

''International trade in civil nuclear area will have to be executed through bilateral agreement. We have already entered into a treaty with the United States in the form of the 123 India-US bilateral agreement,'' Mr Mukherjee told reporters after inaugurating a book at the Kolkata Press Club.

However, as per the US Constitution, the agreement would have to be ratified by the American Congress, he said.

''And they can ratify the agreement only after obtaining the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the NSG waiver in respect of the nuclear trade and the 123 agreement. All three will be considered by the American Congress, and thereafter if they ratify it, the bilateral agreement will be completed with the US,'' he said.

The minister had played a key role in the negotiations and was part of the hectic consultations between India and the US.

Mr Mukherjee said the companies that would supply nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel and components and technologies, on behalf of the government of India, would have to enter into a bilateral agreement with the buyer.

UNI PL DPM SY PM1855

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