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'N-deal will free India from NSG isolation'

IAEA chief ElBaradei says, India is entitled to and needs N-energy in the face of depleting energy resources. Special: Hindustan Times Leadership Summit
None | By Hindustan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 12, 2007 10:09 PM IST

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday said the Indo-US nuclear deal will liberate India from the decades old restrictions imposed upon it by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Speaking at the last leg of the Day 1 of the fifth Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, the IAEA chief said that India is entitled to nuclear energy -- "a pressing need in view of the depleting energy resources the world over" -- and it (India) must be at the centre of the nuclear renaissance.

"You can't sustain on conventional energy resources only," he asserted, while skirting the references to the opposition the UPA Government is facing from the Left over the nuclear deal.

Citing France, Japan and the US, whose dependence on nuclear energy for power-generation is 78%, 80% and 20% respectively, ElBaradei sought to put at rest the question regarding 'the necessity of nuclear energy for a developing country such as India'.

"There are clear reasons for India and China to rely on nuclear fuel provided they are safe and secure," he added.

As for the safeguards agreement that has created a ripple within and outside the UPA coalition, ElBaradei reiterated that 'they are the standard procedures which apply to over 180 countries and India is no exception when you talk of civilian nuclear co-operation'. "We have already four pacts with India in operation," he said, while referring to India's atomic reactors.

He also spoke about the role of the United Nations, which he believed could do more for human security.

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