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IAEA chief ElBaradei to visit India next month

world Updated: Sep 18, 2007 21:57 IST

IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei will visit India in October for talks with the government, the nuclear establishment and political leaders, a trip that may cause a flutter in the midst of the Left-Congress battle of attrition on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

ElBaradei will be travelling to India at the invitation of Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

India has to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA and later get a waiver for international nuclear trade from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) to operationalise the deal.

The visit takes place at a time when the UPA government has made it clear that it will go ahead with the deal notwithstanding the stiff opposition from the Left allies and the opposition.

The Left parties have warned the government of moving towards a "political crisis" if it went ahead with operationalising the deal.

About a fortnight back, Kakodkar had said he will take a call on discussing the safeguards agreement with IAEA two days before leaving for Vienna.

On September 13, the top nuclear scientist had said that he had not received any directive from the government on the matter. Kakodkar, who was contacted here, has refused to speak on the issue.

The IAEA chief earlier visited India about two years back. But this trip assumes significance in the light of political heat generated by the deal.