India on Tuesday initiated the process of negotiating a country-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a follow-up of the civil nuclear deal with the US after the Left parties gave clearance to the government for it.
Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar, who arrived here early on Tuesday morning, held discussions lasting less than an hour with IAEA Director-General Mohammad ElBaradei.
At the meeting between them here it has been decided to initiate consultations on the India-specific safeguards which will pave the way for international civilian nuclear cooperation, the IAEA said in a statement.
An Indian team will have meetings during this week with the IAEA secretariat here to work on the safeguards agreement, it said.
After months of standoff, the Left parties last week allowed the government to go ahead with the negotiations with the IAEA on safeguards agreement on the condition that it will not initial any accord but bring back the draft to the UPA-Left Committee.
Kakodkar, who said all aspects of the safeguards related to India will figure in the discussions with the IAEA, however, refused to comment anything after the parleys.
He was assisted in his talks with ElBaradei by Sheel Kant Sharma, Indian Governor in IAEA, Ravi B Grover, Director Strategic Planning Group of the Department of Atomic Energy, and an official from the External Affairs Ministry.
The meeting came just a day before the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors was scheduled to meet on a range of topics.