Menon to visit US to solve NSG deadlock

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New Delhi/Washington, Aug 23: The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after 2-day of hectic meet on Indo-US Nuclear deal failed to reach a consensus. The next meet is on Sept 4 and in he meanime US and India have to come out with an efficient deal to tilt the Member countries into their favour.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will visit the US early next week to hold discussions with Americans officials. Menon is also expected to discuss current developments in Pakistan following President Pervez Musharraf's resignation as also the escalating violence in Kashmir during his meeting with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns. On Friday, the second round of crucial two-day meeting of the NSG countries to grant India access to nuclear fuel and technology ended in Vienna inconclusively.

The NSG is expected to meet again on September 4 to take a final decision. After intense deliberations over the move that will end India's 34-year-old isolation in the civil nuclear commerce, diplomats said no final decision could be arrived at. The leader of the US delegation at the NSG meet told reporters that the meeting was positive.

Indications that the decision could be delayed emerged during the day when US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said in Mumbai that some amendments would be made to the draft waiver moved at the NSG.

In the first round, Menon briefed the representatives of all NSG countries conveying India's commitment towards non-proliferation.

Menon was joined by Prime Minister's special envoy Shyam Saran to allay fears of some members of the grouping.

They later held separate meetings with key member countries of the NSG. The high power Indian delegation is understood to have cited India's impeccable record with regard to nuclear non-proliferation to assert that the waiver will not in any way weaken the global non-proliferation regime.

Menon also pointed out that New Delhi has in place strict export control regime besides other measures to guard against transfer of dual-use technology or nuclear fuel to ineligible entities.

New Delhi has made it clear that any conditionality to the waiver will not serve India's purpose and therefore cannot be acceptable.


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