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'IAEA chief hails India-specific safeguards agreement

world Updated: Aug 01, 2008 22:07 IST
'IAEA chief hails India-specific safeguards agreement

Strongly batting for the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday hoped that like the UN atomic watchdog, the NSG will also give a go-ahead to the pact which is "good" for moving towards a nuclear weapons free world.

Hailing the IAEA Board of Governors' approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement, which is key to finalising the nuclear deal, ElBaradei said the pact will help the non-proliferation regime.

He said the safeguards agreement, which will apply to India's civil nuclear facilities, was adopted by the agency's Board of Governors by "consensus".

"I believe this agreement is good for India and good for the world and for non-proliferation," the IAEA Director General said.

"The agreement is good for our collective efforts to move towards a world free from nuclear weapons".

"The agreement brings India closer to the debate of our ultimate goal -- Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty -- for establishing a world free from nuclear weapons," he said.

If we have to eliminate nuclear arms, this kind of dialogue has to be universal and inclusive, ElBaradei said.

"We can't exclude from the debate India, Pakistan and Israel and those remaining outside the NPT.

"These are countries which hold 20 per cent of the world's population. They have to be included," he said.

Welcome the India-specific agreement; he said the pact was a step in the "right direction". "I also welcome the positive steps taken by India."