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Burns to be in Vienna to shore up support for N-deal

US Under Secretary of State William Burns will travel to IAEA headquarters in Vienna to shore up support for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal when Delhi plans to brief the UN Board of Governors on a safeguards agreement.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2008 13:01 IST

US Under Secretary of State William Burns will travel to IAEA headquarters in Vienna on Friday to shore up support for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal when New Delhi plans to brief the Board of Governors of the UN atomic watchdog on a safeguards agreement.

Burns, who is travelling to Geneva for a meeting over Iran's controversial nuclear programme, will have a stopover in Vienna on Friday.

"Friday, he's (Burns') going to have some consultations at the International Atomic Energy Agency, related to the nuclear deal," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters without elaborating.

"... I don't have many more details for you than that, that he is going to be in Vienna at the IAEA for some consultations on the civil nuclear deal...," he said.

With Manmohan Singh Government bracing for a trust vote on July 22, India on Wednesday said it has decided to scale down Friday's special briefing for the IAEA on the safeguards agreement and other aspects of Indo-US nuclear deal, confining it to its 35-member Board of Governors and NSG countries which are not part of the Board.

The IAEA has said its Board of Governors will meet on August 1 to discuss a draft safeguards agreement with India, necessary for the implementation of the deal unveiled by US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2005 which would allow India commerce in nuclear material and technology.

In addition, India must obtain a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of 45 states that export nuclear fuel and technology.

Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, will travel on Saturday to Geneva for talks with Iran on its nuclear programme.