With the International Atomic Energy Agency approving the India-specific safeguards agreement, the United States has said that it would keep up the momentum as there was still 'a lot of work' to be done and issues to be addressed ahead of the key Nuclear Supplier's Group meeting on the nuclear agreement.
The 45-nation NSG is likely to meet in Vienna on August 21 to consider a waiver for India to allow it to resume nuclear commerce with the international community after a gap of over three decades.
"We still have a lot of work to do," US Ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory L Schulte, said after the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors approved the safeguards agreement, a key step towards the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
"There are issues that we will have to address," he said.
The US Ambassador said 25 of the IAEA board members came out in strong support of the safeguards agreement and 'just a couple' of countries raised questions but in the and they joined the consensus too.
"We have to move forward to the NSG. We are going to keep this momentum up," Schulte was quoted as saying. "The countries acknowledge India's requirements and legitimacy of India asking for access to nuclear energy and they seem to acknowledge that this is in their benefit."
Overcoming some reservations from a few countries like Iran and Brazil, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted by consensus the agreement under which a total 14 of India's 22 reactors, six of which are already subject to other agency safeguards agreements, are expected to come under agency supervision by 2014 -- the first ones as early as 2009.
With this clearance, the next step in carrying forward the deal will be the vital NSG waiver for India to resume nuclear trade.