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Britain hails landmark US-India N-deal

Britain welcomes a deal to lift a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade with India, saying it will make a "significant contribution" to global energy and climate security.

world Updated: Sep 06, 2008 19:22 IST

Britain welcomed on Saturday a deal to lift a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade with India, saying it will make a "significant contribution" to global energy and climate security.

The comment came after the United States finally secured approval in Vienna for a one-off waiver for India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology.

"It is very welcome that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has reached agreement on civil nuclear co-operation with India," said Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a statement.

"We believe it will make a significant contribution to energy and climate security, as well as developmental and economic objectives, for India and the international community."

He added: "India's clear commitment to a voluntary unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing is also important.

"Today's result represents a gain for the non-proliferation regime by bringing India further into the broader non-proliferation framework, a framework the UK firmly supports," he said.

NSG rules prohibit nuclear trading with India because it refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, developed atomic bombs in secret and conducted its first nuclear test in 1974.

Washington has wanted a special waiver to share civilian nuclear technology with New Delhi. It argues the deal would bring India into the NPT fold and help combat global warming by letting it develop low-polluting nuclear energy.