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India firm on unconditional exemptions from NSG

"For us, protection of India's interest is paramount. If this is achieved, then the prospects of the N-deal getting through will certainly brighten," said Kakodkar.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2007 02:02 IST

India was firm on securing "clear and unconditional" exemptions from Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries while continuing the current process of discussion on a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar said on Sunday.

"For us, protection of India's interest is paramount. If this is achieved, then the prospects of the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal getting through would certainly brighten," he told reporters here after his return from Vienna.

Noting that the current negotiations with IAEA on India-specific safeguards had no fixed "timeframe" Kakodkar said: "It is a complex exercise we wish to complete as fast as we can."

He said any agreement "we sign in this regard should meet all requirements of national interests".

Asked whether the Indian negotiators in Vienna faced any "roadblocks" during discussions with IAEA officials, Kakodkar said: "I always walk on ground."

He said the India specific safeguard agreement with IAEA was a very "broad-based document" and a "fairly detailed exercises".

On the response the Indian side was getting from NSG countries in the light of the current talks, Kakodkar said, "It is generally positive from the 45-member group."

On reports that China was inclined to support India on the pact with the US, Kakodkar said, "I am happy to know that."

He said India expected a "two-way traffic" with respect to the proposed agreement and the Indian industry too should have its share of business if it is concluded.

"We will let you know" was his reply when asked when he was likely to join the Indian team of negotiators in Vienna again.

Earlier, Kakodkar lauded the contribution of the Walchand Industries Ltd, where he went to attend a function, towards the country's defence preparedness as well as atomic, missile and space research programme.

"The group has been providing vital components for our missions with a cutting technological edge making India self-reliant by overcoming many hurdles. Walchand Industries' contribution to the field of Atomic Energy has been immense," he said.