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PM seeks S Africa's support for Indo-US N-deal

The Indo-US civil nuclear deal will allow international community to have trade with India in the nuclear field.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2006 13:03 IST

Ahead of his talks with South African President Thabo Mbeki, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought South Africa's support for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to allow international community to have trade with India in the nuclear field.

Singh, on a four-day visit to South Africa, also asked Pretoria to use its influence in the African Union (AU) to ensure that the 53-nation body works with India and other three members of G4 so that developing countries get permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.

"We would like South Africa's support (to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal) in the Nuclear Suppliers Group," Singh said in an interview to Sunday Tribune newspaper. He was asked whether he would seek Pretoria's support for the deal at the NSG when he holds talks with Mbeki on Monday.

The Indo-US nuclear deal, clinched in March, is required to be endorsed by the 45-nation NSG of which South Africa is a key member.

"We believe we have a strong case for promoting peaceful civilian nuclear technology," Singh emphasised, noting that India needed atomic energy to meet the increasing demands in view of rapid economic growth.

He said he had been encouraged by the discussions India already had with South Africa on the issue.

First Published: Oct 01, 2006 16:48 IST