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Indian Atomic Energy continues talks with IAEA

Notwithstanding the stand-off on N-deal, the Indian Atomic Energy Department is holding talks for working out a safeguards agreement.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2007 21:39 IST

Notwithstanding the UPA-Left stand-off on Indo-US Nuclear deal, the Indian Atomic Energy Department is holding consultations with IAEA for working out a safeguards agreement under the deal.

"Since the process has to go on, we are holding consultations as we cannot wait till the last moment to make the agreed text ready, which is the pre-requisite for the draft agreement," a top source at the department of atomic energy told PTI.

With intricacies involved in the negotiations on the safeguards issues, "it is expected that simultaneously several things had to be taken up and thus we have to go ahead with the continuous discussions/negotiations with the Agency officials," the sources said.

In September, during the IAEA general conference, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar could not formally take up any negotiations on the safeguards agreement due to political situation in India, although few rounds of informal talks were carried out, sources said.

Early this week, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New York played down Left's concerns on the Indo-US nuclear deal saying they were not a cause for "alarm" and said in a democratic process it was important to listen to all points of view to arrive at a consensus.

Since the nature of the safeguards for India has been decided and could be placed under the agency's safeguards system of 1966, it is better that the "agreed text" is being kept ready, sources said.

First Published: Oct 04, 2007 21:06 IST