IAEA’s chief expected in India next week


New Delhi : Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed ElBaradei, will be on a three-day visit to India from 9th October with the trip coming at a time when the UPA- Left committee will be in the midst of discussing contentious issues on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

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EIBaradei is coming to India following a long pending invitation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

During his visit, he is expected to hold talks with the government, the nuclear establishment and political leaders.

The Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who will arrive in Mumbai on 8th October, will spend time with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) officials the next day, and meet the Prime Minister and political leaders in New Delhi on 10th October.

Besides, he is also likely to visit the Tarapur atomic power plant on 10th October, but the schedule has not been finalised yet, the sources said.

On 11th October, he will be on a private visit to Taj Mahal in Agra.

India has to negotiate its specific safeguards agreement with the nuclear watchdog and later get a waiver for international nuclear trade from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to
operationalise the atomic deal.

The IAEA Chief had earlier visited India about two years ago.

The upcoming trip assumes significance in the light of political heat generated by the deal.

Earlier, during the 51st General Conference last month in Vienna, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, was to discuss India-specific safeguards with ElBaradei to take a step forward for the operationalisation of the deal, but due to strict opposition from the Left, he could not hold any formal talks.