Talks on trade conditions for nuclear exports to India continue

Other News Materials 22 August 2008 16:44 (UTC +04:00)

Nuclear-exporting countries gathered for a second day of talks on allowing trade with India on Friday, with several members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) wanting to put conditions on the United States' proposal for a trade exemption, reported dpa.

As diplomats do not expect the 45 NSG members to come to an agreement by the end of their Vienna meeting later on Friday, pressure is building on the United States to see the trade exemption through in a further session in September.

Green-lighting exports for India's growing nuclear power programme is part of Washington's 2005 nuclear deal with New Delhi, which the US administration wants Congress to ratify before the presidential elections.

According to participants of the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting, members are calling for a provision in the trade exemption that would halt India's status as a recipient nation, or to put it under review, if India tested another atom bomb.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group was formed in reaction to an Indian bomb test in 1974, which it had built using imported reactor technology.

The US and other NSG members have to decide on a trade waiver before exporting to India because current rules prevent them from supplying countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

Nuclear exporters discussed several possible non-proliferation conditions for India in bilateral meetings on Friday morning before reconvening for a session set to end in the afternoon.

As he arrived for the meeting, US lead negotiator, Undersecretary John Rood, said progress had been made since Thursday evening, without providing details.

Diplomats said Austria, Ireland and Norway and Switzerland are among the countries with a critical stance towards nuclear trade with India. But none of the NSG members is opposing the exemption outright, they said.