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US wants India to prevent N-proliferation

However, US, IAEA and NSG welcome the prospect of India having civilian nuclear energy, says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2006 12:24 IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the prospect of India having civilian nuclear energy could be an "enormously important step" forward as it is welcomed not only by the US but also by members in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei.

"In fact, ElBaradei himself has said publicly he thinks it is a good thing we move in this direction with India. So this could be an enormously important step forward," Rice said at an interactive session at the US State Department Correspondents Meeting on Thursday.

Though she refused to divulge details of the ongoing negotiations with the Indian government, Rice stressed that Washington had made clear the need for a "separation plan."

"We've been very clear that while we want India very much to have access to civil nuclear technology, we also want to do this in a way that strengthens non-proliferation. And so, that's why the arrangement is designed as it should...The negotiations are ongoing," she said in response to a question.

"The prospect that you could have civil nuclear energy in India is one that is welcomed not just by the US but by the other countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group," she said.

"And I just want to underscore, a lot of non-proliferation people, including the head of the IAEA himself, thinks it's a very good idea that we work in this direction. But the specifics of how we get there are still being worked," Rice added.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 08:53 IST