Nuclear Deal Update

The US has “principal focus” on the nuclear deal with India, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said.“Our principal focus right now has been on the India civil nuclear deal, having worked through the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), now working through the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group), and still trying to get into a position to make the appropriate presidential determinations in early September,” Rice told reporters on her way to Tel Aviv. “So that’s our focus right now on the civil nuclear side.” Rice’s comments came at a time when India’s foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon is in talks with US officials in Washington to address reservations expressed by some countries at NSG over the draft waiver that is required to push the deal forward. The 45-member group is scheduled to meet again on this issue on 6 September since a meeting in Vienna last week ended inconclusively. The NSG reaches decisions only by consensus. Meanwhile, NSG member New Zealand will continue to press for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons when it resumes talks, a senior government minister said in Wellington.New Zealand and other countries want conditions added to the agreement because India has not signed the Nonproliferation Treaty. India and the US did not want any conditions written into any supply agreement.
New Zealand disarmament minister Phil Goff said that while India had a good nonproliferation track record, it has developed, tested and possesses nuclear weapons.NSG’s key function is to formulate guidelines for managing exports of nuclear material, equipment and technology to ensure that this trade does not contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation

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