India submits draft safeguards pact to IAEA
The draft India-specific nuclear safeguards accord with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was on Wednesday circulated to the nuclear watchdog's board of governors for approval following a "request" from the Indian government.
The safeguards pact, which is the next step in the operationalisation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, was sent to the 35-nation Board on a day when the Left parties formally withdrew support from the UPA government following a bitter feud over the deal which has remained stalled for several months.
"At the request of the Government of India, the IAEA Secretariat on Wednesday circulated to members of the IAEA board of governors for their consideration the draft of an 'Agreement with the Government of India for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities'," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a press statement issued at the Agency headquarters in Vienna.
Fleming said the Board chairman will consult members to fix a date to discuss the draft amid reports that a special governors meeting will be convened in Vienna on July 28 to discuss the safeguards text.
"The chairman of the board is consulting with board members to agree on a date for a board meeting when the agreement would be considered," she said.
The move significantly comes in the backdrop of Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee saying that India will approach the IAEA only after seeking a trust vote.