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NSG draft: Government holds high-level meeting

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August 24, 2008 21:01 IST

With the Nuclear Suppliers Group draft set to be amended because of demands from some member countries, the government in Delhi on Sunday held a high-level meeting to analyse the new development and discuss options available to it.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee held hour-long discussions with Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Nuclear Deal Shyam Saran and senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Atomic Energy on the issue.

Saran, who returned from Vienna where the NSG held a two-day meeting on the issue of proposed waiver for India, apprised Mukherjee about the deliberations of the 45-nation grouping on August 21-22, which failed to arrive at any decision.

"I briefed the minister about the developments there (in Vienna)," Saran told PTI after the meeting, but refused to elaborate.

The former foreign secretary, who was part of Indian delegation that held a special session with NSG countries in Vienna to put forth India's case, is understood to have conveyed to Mukherjee the kind of questions raised by some members over grant of exemption to India.

The meeting came on the eve of Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon's discussions with US officials in Washington over the amendments to the draft, which is to be brought back to the NSG at its next meeting expected on September 4-5.

Amid apprehensions in Delhi that the amendments could include some elements that could bind India, Mukherjee on Saturday had made it clear that New Delhi will not accept any "prescriptive conditionalities".

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