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PM leaves for Germany, Uzbekistan on Saturday

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will use all his persuasive skills to convince the German leadership that the Indo-US accord on civilian nuclear energy cooperation was aimed at meeting India's crucial energy needs and would in no way promote proliferation during his important visit to Germany and Uzbekistan from Saturday.

During his five-day overseas visit, the first after the historic Indo-US deal was clinched last month, Dr Singh will be accompanied by a high-level delegation.

Briefing reporters, Mrs Shashi Tripathi, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, told reporters here today that India and Germany would sign three memoranda of understanding during the course of the visit. The MOUs would be between Indians Railways and the German Railways, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the German Institute for research in medicine and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and its German counterpart.

Asked to comment on the German reservations about the Indo-US nuclear deal, Mrs Tripathi said Berlin has so far not issued any formal statement on the accord.

On German Ambassador to India Bernd Mutzelburg's comments on the deal in an interview to an English daily, she said, ''these remarks are encouraging...The issue may come up (during discussions between the two countries) as any other issue between friends and we will once again clarify our position.'' The German envoy had told the daily that India has a proven record of being a relaible and responsible state as far as non-proliferation is concerned.

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