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India asks for Chinese support at NSG

By Anil K Joseph in Beijing
January 10, 2006 19:13 IST
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India has sought China's support at the Nuclear Suppliers Group for implementation of the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said on Tuesday.

"We briefed each other about our respective relations with major powers and that included, of course, our respective relations with the US. On my side, I did brief them about energy cooperation between India and US, which includes civilian nuclear energy cooperation," Saran told journalists.

Saran, who is in Beijing for the second round of India-China Strategic Dialogue, said the Chinese side has not expressed unhappiness to him over the India-US nuclear agreement.

"There was no such unhappiness expressed to me," he said, after separate meetings with Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Vice Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs, Wu Dawei.

Asked whether China have anything to say about lifting of sanctions on India by the NSG, the foreign secretary said this was not discussed in detail.

"No, this matter was not discussed in that kind of detail. But of course, with regard to the NSG, I did point out that one aspect of the discussion with the US was the modification of the domestic law in US with regard to civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

The second was the modification in the guidelines of the NSG, which would enable full civilian nuclear cooperation with India. As China is a member of the NSG, we have asked cooperation from them," Saran said.

China's state-run media had earlier criticised the India-US nuclear energy cooperation agreement, saying that it would undermine global anti-proliferation efforts.

Asked whether Beijing has responded to India's request, Saran said, "This matter will come up before the NSG and, naturally, the members of the NSG will have their say, but this is, of course, a matter on which the lead will have to be taken by the US."

"So far we have really not had a response because I was just briefing them on this," he said.

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Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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