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May 28, 2009 at 12:11pm IST

Canada says nuclear deal with India soon

Toronto: Canada on Wednesday said that the on-going talks with India on resumption of nuclear ties may soon end in a nuclear deal with New Delhi.

Two countries have reportedly already exchanged a draft agreement on the proposed deal. A team of Canadian nuclear experts met officials of the Atomic Energy Commission in Mumbai during last week to give the final touch to the draft.

Canadian International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, who signed a memorandum of understanding with India during his visit earlier this year, said on Wednesday that the two countries might sign the nuclear deal very soon.

NUCLEAR TIES: Canadian Minister says country will restore nuclear ties with India soon.

"We are very close to having an agreement with India related to the civilian use of nuclear energy for the purpose of helping them meet their energy needs”, the minister told to the Canadian Press.

"We are close. I don't like to put an hour and a day on it, but these are fairly complicated agreements and we're just about there. There are just a few items left," he added.

”Under the deal, Canadian nuclear exports cannot be used for military purposes. Canadian companies were looking at selling nuclear reactors worth between $50 and $150 billion in the coming years.” Minister said.

"So there's a great opportunity here for the Canadian industry," he said.

Canada imposed nuclear sanctions on India after its 1974 nuclear test, and eased them last year by voting in New Delhi's favour at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Eyeing a huge market in India for its atomic companies, Ottawa resumed negotiations with New Delhi last year to resume nuclear trade.

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