Indo-US deal step in right direction: IAEA
Vienna, Sept. 17(PTI): Having backed the Indo-US nuclear deal as a "step in the right direction", UN nuclear watchdog IAEA said today it was waiting for the Indian government to start discussions with it on India-specific safeguards agreement.
After opening the 51st General Conference of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), its Director General Mohammed ElBaradei told a press conference that the agency was waiting for Indian authorities to come for talks on safeguards. "So far, they have not approached us," he said.
Signalling its support for the Indo-US nuclear deal, the IAEA also said it was "good" and "a step in the right direction". It will provide clean energy to millions of people in India, ElBaradei said at a joint press meet with Austrian Minister Ursula Plassnik.
Meanwhile, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar continued to evade the media, obviously aware of the sensitivities back home.
About a fortnight back Kakodkar had said he will take a call on discussing the safeguards agreement with IAEA two days before leaving for Vienna.
On September 13, the top nuclear scientist had said that he had not received any directive from the government on the matter. Kakodkar, who was contacted here yesterday, refused to speak on the issue.
In his opening remarks at the IAEA meet, ElBaradei emphasised the need for safeguards agreement for nuclear progammes which will be carried out by member states.