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China will not object at IAEA

By Raghavendra in Beijing
July 17, 2008 19:41 IST
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On the eve of India presenting its case on the Indo-US nuclear deal before the International Atomic Energy Agency, China hinted on Thursday for the first time it may not be a stumbling block when the safeguards accord comes up before the global nuclear watchdog for approval.

"I believe countries could under the presentation of fulfilling international obligations carry out peaceful cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy and I hope the relevant issues can be resolved through negotiations between relevant parties," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told media-persons in Beijing.

Liu's remarks came close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Japan early this month.

After the talks, India had voiced confidence that there would be no difficulty" from the Chinese side when the matter comes up before the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

China, one of the five recognised nuclear powers, is a key member of the IAEA and the NSG, whose approval is needed for India to secure international cooperation for nuclear commerce.

"We have taken note that the US and India are making further contact on the nuclear issue," Liu said.

The spokesman was responding to a query if China is planning to raise any objections when India's case comes up before the IAEA.

With the G-8 countries on board over the deal after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meetings with leaders of the rich nations in Japan recently, India had stated that it does not expect any problem in the IAEA and NSG over securing their approvals and exemptions required to take the deal forward.

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Raghavendra in Beijing
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