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India seeks out Britain, France, Russia over NPT, CTBT

Last Updated: Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 15:07

New Delhi: India is concerned about a proposed UN Security Council resolution urging countries to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and has contacted Britain, Russia and France to ensure that its nuclear deals are not be affected, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan said.

The UN draft resolution is spearheaded by the US and is likely to be passed this week when President Barack Obama chairs a special session of the Security Council.

"We have talked to countries with whom we have entered into agreements, like France. We have also talked to the UK with whom we are negotiating an agreement. And I will be talking to Russia in a day or two," Narayanan told a news channel in an interview.

A draft of the UN resolution, published on the website of an American newspaper Politico, calls upon all states "that are not parties to the NPT to accede to the treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states so as to achieve its universality at an early date, and pending their accession to the treaty, to adhere to its terms".

It also asks states to "refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the CTBT, thereby bringing the treaty into force at an early date".

Narayanan said he was "not worried about the proposed resolution".

He said the fact that countries like Canada was approaching India for a bilateral nuclear deal showed the resolution was not a deterrent. "We have (had) positive responses," he said.

Narayanan, however, said the resolution will figure in talks with his US counterpart in the coming weeks.

"This issue has already been raised. Americans have come to us and whatever happens to the resolution will not affect (the) civil nuclear agreement (between India and the US)," he said.

On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said India was committed to strengthening disarmament and promoting a global consensus on the issue. India`s permanent mission in the UN is monitoring the resolution, Rao said.

"India is also in touch with friendly countries" over the draft resolution, Rao said when asked if India will face increased pressure from the US to sign the CTBT.


First Published: Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 15:07

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