7 July:Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday announced that India will "very soon" approach the IAEA for a safeguards agreement for the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal where the "process will move very fast".The Prime Minister’s statement to journalists on board the aircraft carrying him to Sapporo in Japan for the G-8 Summit comes amid reports from Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, that the Board of the international nuclear watchdog will meet on 28th July to approve the safeguards agreement.
He said assurances have been given that once India goes to the IAEA, the process will move very fast.A relaxed and confident Dr Singh made it clear that Government was not afraid of facing Parliament if the Left parties withdraw support.
Having a dig at Leader of Opposition L K Advani, Dr Singh said the BJP leader "need not give any advice" on the issue.Singh, who will be meeting US President George W Bush on the sidelines of the summit on 9th July, said he would also be holding parleys with other world leaders and seek their support for the nuclear deal at the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.
Dr Singh still sounded conciliatory about the Left parties, who have threatened to withdraw support to his government the moment it takes the next step on the deal, that they were "patriots" and would like to find a way out which would address their concerns and also see the deal through.
He asserted that the deal was in national interest and the government would not compromise India”s foreign policy or its strategic programme.
"I have been telling him (George W Bush) and I have always told him that I am committed to the civil nuclear cooperation agreement. That it has been my effort and it will always be my effort to push the agreement and that our government stands committed," Dr Singh said.
"As for the precise date I wouldn’t like to say while I am abroad. But we will take a decision very soon."Initially he was reluctant to say when the government would approach the IAEA.
But when pressed for a specific time-frame and asked how soon, he replied "well I can’t tell right now. But you will hear about it when we take such a decision."Courtsey DD NEWS