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Natwar Singh discusses IAEA meet with Chinese counterpart

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November 07, 2005 19:17 IST
External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh on Monday discussed with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing the forthcoming International Atomic Energy Association meeting on the Iran nuclear issue and agreed to remain in touch and work for a consensus on the matter. The telephonic conversation comes a day after Singh said he would favour revision of India's vote on Iran nuclear programme at the November 24 meeting of IAEA board of governors in Geneva if a resolution stronger than the one placed last time was put forward.

"If a resolution is placed at the IAEA which is more severe than the last one which says that this matter must go to the United Nations Security Council, I can, as foreign minister of India tell you that my recommendation to the government will be to revise our vote," he said. He emphasised that during the voting at IAEA in Vienna, "We will take decisions considering what we think is in our vital national interest."

Yes, India is a friend of Iran, so what?

India had gone along with the United States and European Union in voting against Iran at the last IAEA meeting in Vienna in September, triggering strong protests by United Progressive Alliance's left allies. However, the government defended its stand saying it helped avoid referring the issue to UNSC. Singh and Li reviewed bilateral relations, external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in new Delhi.

The two leaders have also been in touch with Russian Foreign Minister and have a broad understanding that the matter should remain out of the Security Council and a consensus should be worked out in consultation with the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany) and Iran, he said.

Complete Coverage: The Iran vote and after

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