India has sent the Right message to China : Pranab

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New Delhi, Sep 10 (UNI) India sent the ''right'' message to China and adopted the ''correct postures'' after Beijing reportedly attempted to block India's nuclear waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in Vienna, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

''The proof of the pudding is in the eating. In the end, all 45 countries of the NSG, including China, backed the waiver,'' he told CNN-IBN.

Asked whether a ''tough'' message had been sent to the Chinese, he said ''I dont know what you mean by tough message, we have adopted the correct postures. I met the Chinese Foreign Minister in a one-on-one meeting for half an hour and the right message was sent.'' The Minister also said India was now free to sign civilian nuclear agreements with Russia, France and all ''non-US'' countries.

The 123 agreement with the United States does not limit India to engage in nuclear trade with any other NSG member as per the NSG rules, he said.

Asked whether an agreement with France would be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Sngh's visit to Paris later this month, Mr Mukherjee said he could not set a timeline as to when these trade agreements with other countries wuld take place.

''There is no legal barrier to it,'' he added.

To another question on when would the 123 agreement be ratified, he hoped it would be ratified as early as possible.

''I do believe that the Bush administration will make every effort to ensure it is done soon.'' Mr Mukherjee said the UPA government had no knowledge of the ''secret'' letter sent by the US administration which created a controversy last week.

''How is the Ministry of External Affairs or the government of India to know what transpired between the legislative and administrative wing of the US government. We should be going by the written texts that are before us, not some internal communication in the United States. We must go by the public agreements of July 18, 2005, March 2006 and the Safeguards Agreement.'' Lashing out at the BJP, he reiterated that uninterrupted fuel supply was guaranteed under the 123 agreement.

''Fuel supply will be uninterrupted, that is what is clear in the written agreements. Unfortunately, the BJP wants to believe some under-secretary in the United States and not what the minister of their own country has to say.'' On the right to test, Mr Mukherjee said it remained India's sovereign right.''The situation had not changed before and after the waiver.'' ''But we must understand that while we have the right to act, other countries will have the right to react. That was the position before the nuclear waiver, that was the position in 1998 when Mr Vajpayee's government had tested. Nothing has changed,'' he added." UNI RB ARB AS1906

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