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India to convince skeptic NSG nations

world Updated: Sep 05, 2008 12:56 IST

PTI
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As the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) inched towards forging a consensus on clearing a waiver to India for nuclear commerce, senior Indian officials have met representatives of the few skeptic member countries of the 45-member grouping to persuade them to give the green light so as to take the Indo-US nuclear deal forward.

The informal parleys ahead of the second day of the NSG discussions came as delegates to the nuclear cartel expressed optimism over a consensus to end the country's three-decade long nuclear isolation by today.

"We are close to a consensus. There may be a statement for the press today," a western diplomat, who refused to be identified either by name or country, said after the delegates considered a revised US draft waiver.

The draft waiver included provisions like the NSG Chair informing the nuclear club about India's adherence to its guidelines after holding consultations with the country, a move aimed at pacifying countries having reservations.

Asked about the countries that have raised questions and expressed reservations over a clean waiver, the diplomat said they are positive and flexible.

"I believe we are making steady progress in this process and we will continue to make progress," US Undersecretary of State William Burns had said at the end of first round.

A number of countries like New Zealand, Austria, Norway, Ireland, The Netherlands and Switzerland were not satisfied with the present draft and raised questions at the NSG meeting, particularly with regard to nuclear testing issue.