India to begin lobbying among NSG nations

India is all set to launch a full blast lobbying among the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for an exemption for nuclear commerce from later this week in the wake of Manmohan Singh government comfortably winning the trust vote in Parliament.

A group of Ministers and officials will travel to various NSG countries to muster support for the nuclear deal with the United States, particularly focusing on nations, which have had reservations so far on allowing exemption to India.

The government expects the IAEA Board of Governors to approve the India-specific safeguards agreement during its meeting scheduled for August 1.

After the approval from the atomic watchdog, India will have to get a waiver by consensus from NSG to allow it to have civil nuclear cooperation with the international community.

The ministers, who include Kapil Sibal, Prithviraj Chavan and Anand Sharma, will explain India’s position and dwell on the reasons for giving exemption, sources said.

Besides the ministers, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and other officials of the Ministry of External Affairs will also travel abroad to lobby support.

The government is also expected to instruct its envoys in the NSG countries to approach the governments there with regard to mustering support.

Firming up of Safeguards Agreement and NSG waiver are key steps in the implementation of the Indo-US agreement, which is to be approved by the American Congress.

After the government won the confidence motion last night, the US said it will work with Indian government expedite the processes at IAEA and NSG.


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