NSG may hold 2nd meeting to finalise waiver for India: Boucher

ID :
Wed, 08/13/2008 - 09:52

NSG may hold 2nd meeting to finalise waiver for India: Boucher

Sridhar Krishnaswami
Washington, Aug 13 (PTI) A senior American official
lobbying for an expeditious approval of the Indo-US civil
nuclear deal has held out the prospect of finding an "easy
agreement" with the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),
but said it could take "another" meeting after August to
finalise the waiver for India.

On August 21, the US will seek a waiver for nuclear trade
with India from the NSG, which consists of countries that
export nuclear material and technology, before the deal is
sent to the American Congress for ratification.

"If we find an easy agreement, maybe we can finish our
discussions, but it may take another meeting after that to get
together," Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State
for Central and South Asian affairs, told reporters.

The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) adopted on August 1 by consensus a safeguards
agreement for India, a key step for initiating civilian
nuclear cooperation with New Delhi under the deal.

The top diplomat agreed that "there are a lot of serious
issues" involved before the work is done in the NSG. Some
media reports have suggested that India and the US have planed
a second meeting of the NSG in early September.

"We are relying on the understanding of other partners in
this effort... We're asking people to look closely and quickly
in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, to move expeditiously, and we
hope that will happen, and then we'll go to the US Congress,"
Boucher was quoted as saying last week in Japan, a transcript
of which has been released here.

"We're trying to listen to other governments .. and we'll
have a more complete discussion later this month with the
other nuclear suppliers," he stressed. Even as agreeing that
it is "a tight timetable" he said, "now that India has told us
they're ready to move forward, we're determined to move as far
as we can, as quickly as we can." PTI SK