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Statement by Minister of External Affairs Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on the final outcome of the meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group

New Delhi
September 6, 2008

I have requested all of you to gather here so that I can personally inform you about the latest developments and the final outcome of the meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which concluded in Vienna a short while ago.

2. You have all been monitoring the developments in Vienna very closely. I am happy to inform you that the NSG have adopted a statement on civil nuclear cooperation which will enable India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with the international community to meet its energy and developmental requirements. We welcome this decision and thank the Members of the NSG. You will appreciate that this also constitutes a major landmark in our quest for energy security.

3. The process, which has culminated in the NSG adopting a clean waiver, commenced 3 years ago with the initiative of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President George Bush through the 18th July 2005 Joint Statement. The IAEA adopted an India Specific Safeguards Agreement on August 1 2008. For this, our deepest appreciation and thanks are due to the Director General of the IAEA, Dr. Mohammed El Baradei and all the Members of the IAEA.

4. This decision will open a new chapter in India’s cooperation with other countries in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We look forward to working with our international partners in realizing the full potential of mutually beneficial cooperation that this decision entails. It is a development of major significance to global energy security and would also be a contribution to meeting the challenges of climate change.

5. The journey has not only been long but required several steps to be taken sequentially including intense bilateral negotiations with the Members of the IAEA and NSG. I am happy to inform you that the final outcome fully meets our expectations and is consistent with Government policy and the national consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation. The NSG waiver is a unique development that has been achieved in accordance with commitments given to Parliament and the people of India, and is consistent with India’s national interest.

6. I would like to take the opportunity to place on record Government’s deep appreciation in particular for the untiring efforts of the United States, France, United Kingdom and Russia throughout this process, and also the support received from the present and previous Chairs of the NSG – Germany, South Africa and Brazil.

7. I would like to thank in particular President Bush and Secretary of State Rice for their personal commitment and contribution to this process.

8. My personal appreciation also for the untiring efforts of our negotiators and for all my colleagues in the Cabinet as well as in the Department of Atomic Energy and the Ministry of External Affairs who made this possible.

9. This landmark achievement is the direct outcome of the vision, personal commitment and guidance provided by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.