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We are aware of N-deal's importance: Ireland

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August 20, 2008 13:58 IST

Ireland, which has reservations over the Nuclear Suppliers Group granting an exemption to India, on Wednesday said it was aware of the importance attached to the Indo-US nuclear deal by New Delhi and of the considerable support that exists for its energy diversification.

The Irish government said it was actively involved in the ongoing discussion on this complex issue in the context of the crucial two-day plenary meeting of 45-member NSG beginning on Thursday to decide on nuclear commerce with India.

"We are currently examining the text of the US proposal circulated recently for an exemption from NSG guidelines to permit civil nuclear cooperation with India," an Irish government source said.

The draft has clear implications for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and non-proliferation regime, the sources said.

They said over the past three years since the deal was mooted, Ireland has been in the fore in raising questions and expressing serious concerns, particularly about its effects on the international non-proliferation regime.

Ireland was the first country to give a list of questions when the US officials briefed NSG members on the 123 Agreement last September in Vienna on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general meeting.

However, the sources said, the government was aware of the importance attached to the Indo-US nuclear deal by India and of the considerable support which exists for its energy diversification.

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