Left parties allow Govt to hold talks with IAEA

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New Delhi, Nov 16: In what amounts to a major climbdown in their stand, the Left parties today agreed to allow the UPA Government to hold talks with the Internatonal Automic Energy Agency (IAEA) on an India-specific nuclear safeguard agreement.

At the sixth meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal, it was decided that the government would proceed with the talks with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Reading out a statement after the meeting held at the South Block, External Affairs Minister and Committee Convener Pranab Mukherjee said the panel discussed the implications of the Hyde Act on the 123 agreement on foreign policy and security matters.

''After further discussions, it was decided that the impact of the provisions of the Hyde Act and the 123 agreement on the IAEA Safeguards Act should also be examined. This will require talks with the IAEA Secretariat for working out the text of the India-specific safeguards act,''he said.

Mr Mukherjee said the government would proceed with the talks and the outcome would be presented to the committee for its consideration before it finalises its findings.

The findings of the committee will be taken into consideration before the operationalisation of the India-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

All members of the committee, barring Railways Minister Lalu Prasad, attended the meeting.


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