S Africa to support India for civil nuke programme

South Africa's support has come at a crucial time when the Indo-US civil nuke deal is to be finalised.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2006 15:38 IST

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to South Africa, the uranium-rich country has expressed its readiness for civil nuclear cooperation with India and hinted at supporting New Delhi's case at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

"Our view is that all countries have the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. There are advantages in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," South African High Commissioner Francis Moloi said in an interview in New Delhi.

With regard to the possibility of India and South Africa forging cooperation in the civil nuclear field, he said, "Certainly, this is an area that provides opportunity for us to cooperate. I don't see any obstacle." He made it clear that South Africa had no proliferation concerns with regard to India tapping nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

"India has an excellent track record in terms of non-proliferation, which cannot be doubted. We are aware of India's impeccable record in this regard," he said.

The readiness of South Africa, a key player in the 45-member NSG, for cooperating with India in the civil nuclear field significantly comes as the Indo-US civil nuclear deal nears completion of the legislative process in America.

First Published: Sep 24, 2006 15:38 IST