Aiming to muster the support of all members of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) for its civil nuclear aspirations, India will seek next week to persuade Australia and New Zealand to shun their reservations on the issue.
Shyam Saran, the special envoy on the nuclear issue, will visit these countries from Tuesday to explain in detail the reasons for India’s aspirations for civil nuclear energy while pointing out its impeccable record in non-proliferation, said a “The Times of India” report.
Saran, the interlocutor for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, will meet ministers and officials of Australia and New Zealand during his stay there to try and assuage their concerns with regard to backing New Delhi’s aspirations.
Besides getting Australia’s support at the NSG, India would like to have bilateral cooperation with it as it is known to have one of largest uranium reserves in the world.
Saran is expected to underline the fact that India requires civil nuclear power to meet its growing energy needs in view of its rapid economic progress.
As India’s economy continues to grow, experts have said its energy needs will grow manifold in the coming years, putting a huge burden on fossil fuels and affecting the ecology.
The enactment of a law by the US to allow civil nuclear trade with India despite its strategic programme is expected to be cited to back New Delhi’s case.
New Zealand too has reservations about supporting India in this area as it has not signed the NPT.
Several countries, including the US, Britain, France and Russia, have declared their support for India’s case. They have sought an end to India’s nuclear isolation despite it not signing the NPT, with an emphasis that the exception be made only for it.
South Africa, Brazil and some other nations have shed their reservations after being convinced about India’s peaceful ambitions.