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IAEA backs Indo-US N-pact

Director General ElBaradei said the deal would bring India closer as an important partner in non-proliferation regime.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 18:44 IST

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) came out in support of the groundbreaking India-US nuclear cooperation agreement finalised on Thursday by President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The IAEA strongly supported the agreement announced in New Delhi following talks between visiting President Bush and Manmohan Singh, saying it was historic and could consolidate efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and to combat nuclear terrorism.

"This agreement is an important step towards satisfying India's growing need for energy, including nuclear technology and fuel, as an engine for development," said IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

He added that it would also bring India closer as an important partner in the non-proliferation regime.

"It would be a milestone, timely for ongoing efforts to consolidate the non-proliferation regime, combat nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear safety," he said.

"It would also be a step forward towards universalisation of the international safeguards regime. This agreement would serve the interests of both India and the international community."

The US Congress, however, was divided. Members like Ed Markey vocally opposed the agreement on the grounds that it would weaken the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though with the latest steps taken in New Delhi, the divisions in the Congress may become blurred.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 12:35 IST