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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India decides to scale down briefing for IAEA

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, July 16, IRNA
India-IAEA-Briefing
India has decided to scale down the July 18 special briefing for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the safeguards agreement and other aspects of Indo-US nuclear deal, confining it to its 35-member Board of Governors and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries which are not part of the Board.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will brief the representatives of the 54 countries in Vienna to garner support for India's case with regard to the safeguards agreement that is to be approved by the IAEA Board and the waiver required from Nuclear Suppliers Group, PTI reported here quoting officials.

At the briefing, Menon will speak about the importance of the initiative of Indo-US nuclear deal while citing the country's impeccable track record on non-proliferation front despite not being a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement by the IAEA Board is a crucial step in the implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

After firming up of the safeguards agreement, India has to get a waiver from the 45-nation NSG to allow it to have trade in the field with international community.

Among the 35 members of the IAEA Board, 26 are also part of NSG.

Rest of the NSG countries have also been invited for the special briefing.

Earlier, India had decided to brief all the 140 members of the IAEA and Indian Ambassador Saurabh Kumar had sent out invitations to them.

But the briefing has now been scaled down as it was considered unnecessary as the safeguards agreement is to be approved only by the 35-nation Board.

The IAEA Board of Governors will meet on August 1 to consider the safeguards agreement initialled on July 7. R B Grover, Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy, will accompany Menon to Vienna for the briefing.

Earlier on Wednesday, IAEA said the briefing has been cancelled at India's request. "We have been informed that India has decided to cancel the briefing," IAEA spokesperson Melissa Flemming said. Indian officials, however, immediately came out with a clarification.

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