, SA for nuke coop with India

Brazil and South Africa, key members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), on Tuesday decided to explore ways for cooperation with India in civil nuclear field through "acceptable forward-looking approaches".

At a trilateral meeting of India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) forum here, the three countries favoured "unimpeded growth and development of peaceful uses of atomic energy, through the supply of technology, equipment and material, under appropriate safeguards, and reaffirmed their will to intensify such cooperation."

The Foreign Ministers of the three counir international legal obligations," said a joint communique issued after the day-long meeting.

The three sides emphasised the need to ensure the supply of safe, sustainable and non-polluting sources of energy to meet the rising global demand for energy, particularly in developing countries.

"In this context, the ministers agreed that nuclear energy could play an important role," said the communique issued after the meeting of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"The ministers agreed to explore approaches to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate IAEA safeguards," it said.

The willingness of Brazil and South Africa for cooperation with India in civil nuclear field assumes signifance as New Delhi is required to seek changes in NSG guidelines to allow the international community to have trade with it.

The three countries were of the view that international civilian nuclear cooperation, under appropriate IAEA safeguards, could be enhanced amongst countries committed to nuclear disarmament and non proliferation objectives through "acceptable forward-looking approaches, consistent with their respective national and international obligations".

Replying to a question at a joint press conference after the meeting, Mukherjee said the NSG could not firm up its view till the 123 agreement with the US was concluded to operationalise the civil nuclear deal.

He said civil nuclear cooperation was emerging as a priority area for cooperation among India, Brazil and South Africa.

The three countries also emphasised the need for elimination of nuclear weapons at global level and sought negotiations on a phased programme in this regard within a specified framework of time.

(Published by The Brazilian, July 17, 2007)

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