Nuclear deal not to impinge on India's strategic programme:PM

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reiterated that concluding the Indo-US nuclear deal "will in no way impinge on the country's strategic programme" and would end the era of nuclear apartheid against India.

Stating that "India will never allow any extraneous interference in the conduct of our independent foreign policy," the Prime Minister said India would continue to seek good relations with all its Asian neighbours.

The comments came in an interaction with a few senior journalists at his residence here during which the current political and economic situation and issues pertaining to civil nuclear energy and the proposed Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were discussed.

Referring to opportunities for international cooperation in civil nuclear energy in addressing the challenge of energy security and high technology development, Dr Singh said the IAEA safeguards agreement would enable India to cooperate in civil nuclear energy development with all the 45-member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, including the US, Russia, France and China.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the people of India understood the significance of the initiatives being taken by the UPA Government and endorse them.

Touching on economic issues, the Prime Minister outlined the steps taken by the government to sustain the growth momentum and curb inflation in the face of external pressures on account of rising crude oil prices.

Dr Singh also referred to the initiatives taken by the government to make the growth process socially inclusive, including measures taken to insulate the poor to the extent possible from inflation.

He also outlined the initiatives being taken to boost agricultural production and farmers' welfare.


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