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Centre defends N-deal ahead of crucial meet

As the Left parties tight the noose over the UPA, the government strongly comes out defending the accord ahead of the crucial meeting between the sides.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2007 12:51 IST

As the Left parties tightened the noose over the UPA on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the government strongly came out defending the accord ahead of the crucial meeting between the sides on the issue.

Strong remarks have emanated from Left quarters warning the government not to operationalise the deal without taking into consideration the findings of the Left-UPA Committee, which is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on October 5.

The two sides have, however, agreed to take note of the Committee's findings on the matter before making any forward movement.

Major issues, ranging from the impact of the Hyde Act on the 123 agreement, fuel supply assurances, IAEA safeguards and full nuclear cooperation to the annual certification by the US President, have been raised at earlier UPA-Left meetings chaired by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Notwithstanding Left's scathing criticism, the UPA has asserted that the outside supporters should be "confident" about government's ability to secure India's national interests. It also claimed that successive governments have resisted external pressures on nuclear issues.

On the Left concerns over how the Hyde Act would affect the implementation of 123 agreement by Washington, government in its response has said once the accord was approved by US Congress, only its provisions and not the US law would govern the rights and obligations of the contracting parties.

In response to the Left concerns, government also claimed it had "ensured" that it would not be placed in a situation similar to the one experienced by the Tarapur nuclear power plant when the US had stopped fuel supplies.

First Published: Sep 30, 2007 12:38 IST