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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US to support waiver for India at NSG meet

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept 1, IRNA
India-NSG Waiver-US
The US on Monday said it is working hard with positive approach to secure a waiver for India from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, (NSG), ahead of its meeting on 4th and 5th of this month in Vienna.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher told this to reporters in New Delhi after meeting Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

He said the NSG will meet to consider whether or not India should be granted an exemption to conduct civil nuclear trade with the international community.

American Ambassador to India David Mulford also held meetings last week with envoys of the countries having reservations to the initiative, to bring them around.

The NSG, at its August 21-22 meeting, failed to arrive at a decision as at least 15 member countries expressed reservations and sought around 50 amendments to the draft.

The draft waiver has since been revised but a few countries, including New Zealand and Austria, are still believed to have objections as they feel the amendments in the text are just cosmetic.

In the meantime, the Indian government has already revised the draft for India waiver among the NSG members, five days ahead of the crucial meeting of the 45-nation grouping to consider exemption for New Delhi. The draft, amended by the US after demands by some NSG countries, has been approved by India which found the document being in consonance with its objectives of "unconditional" waiver.

Care has been taken to ensure that the substance of the draft does not exceed the parameters outlined by India, particularly on nuclear testing and enrichment and reprocessing issues. However, a few countries are said to be still not satisfied with the draft, suggesting that the amendments carried out in it were only cosmetic and not as per their demands, All India Radio (AIR) reported quoting sources in New Delhi.

New Zealand and Austria are said to be among the NSG members who believe that the draft should address their concerns with regard to non-proliferation issues considering that India has a strategic nuclear programme despite not being a signatory to the NPT. New Delhi believes that the changes made in the draft address the concerns the skeptic countries have. It has also cited its impeccable track record on the non-proliferation front despite being a non-signatory to the NPT and expressed readiness to join efforts for universal nuclear disarmament.

The sources said the Government is clear that if conditions are attached to the waiver, India will not accept it. The conditions particularly unacceptable to India are with regard to nuclear testing, denial of enrichment and reprocessing right and periodic review. The next NSG meeting is scheduled for September 4 and 5 to consider whether or not to allow India to resume civil nuclear trade with the international community.

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