India's rights will be fully protected': Govt

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) India today made it clear that the civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States would be carried out on the basis of the respective rights and obligations of the two sides as contained in the 123 Agreement and that India's rights would be fully protected.

A spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said here in working with the US in civil nuclear cooperation, India would be guided by the 123 Agreement alone and the text of the Agreement had been agreed upon by the Governments of India and the United States.

''It is a public document,'' the spokesman said while eiterating that that the rights and obligations of both India and the US are clearly spelt out in the terms and provisions of the 123 Agreement.

Once this Inter-Governmental Agreement enters into force, the Agreement would become a legal document in accordance with well-recognised principles of international law and the Law of Treaties, the spokesman added.

The spokesman also said the Indian government did not comment on domestic political processes in the US or other countries.

The United States yesterday indicated that the 123 Agreement, also known as the US-India Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation, is likely to be signed on September 25 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US from September 22.

A statement issued by the White House said the President ''looks forward'' to welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the White House on September 25, to strengthen the Strategic Partnership and build upon the progress in other areas of cooperation like agriculture, education, trade and Defense.

The conclusion of this agreement, which completes the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative, has been a priority for both--President Geogre Bush and Prime Minister Singh--and strengthens the US-India Strategic Partnership, the statement said.

The July 18, 2005, Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Initiative which was cleared by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna on September 6, has entered its last lap before it is ratified by the US Congress for its implementation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will go to the US later this month to attend the UN General Assembly session.

He is also scheduled to go to Washington.

UNI RB MIR AS2213

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