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Next round of India, IAEA talks on Jan 15

India and the IAEA are yet to finalise an agreed text for India-specific safeguard, reports Nilova Roy Choudhury.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2008 01:20 IST
Nilova Roy Choudhury & Agencies
Nilova Roy Choudhury & Agencies
Hindustan Times

India and the IAEA are yet to finalise an agreed text for India-specific safeguards during the talks last week, particularly on the issue of New Delhi's right to hold its strategic reserve to meet lifetime supply for its civilian nuclear plants.

The four-day meet that concluded on Saturday was originally considered to be the final round but the draft text could not be completed, IAEA sources said.

India has to finalise the text and then the US would be in a position to negotiate with the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to allow New Delhi to integrate with international nuclear commerce.

The next round of talks is scheduled to be on January 15 and the Indian negotiators need to get certain aspects of their discussions approved from the top (i.e. the Prime Minister, NSA and Kakodkar)

With dates for another round of talks having been scheduled, it seems that the negotiators are hopeful they will be able to work around the INFCIRC66 document (the basic IAEA safeguards agreement) and meet all of their requirements.

It is not normal for standard IAEA safeguards agreements to specify the size of fuel reserves each nuclear power reactor should have and fallback measures in case of a failure in supply of fuel. India is insistent these have to be included. There is still no calendar deadline for the talks.