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N-deal makes India's diplomatic ties hang in balance


Shuchi Yadav,CNN-IBN
Aug 21, 2007 at 03:42am IST

New Delhi: The Capital is readying to roll out the red carpet for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday.

With the 1-2-3 Agreement concluded, South Block will be hoping for a strong endorsement from Abe about supporting India's case at the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

“I think we will naturally discuss the international framework of civil nuclear co-operation and how it could be changed. Certainly we would look forward to discussing the issue,” Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said.

But if the Left pulls the rug from under the UPA's feet senior diplomats warn that India would lose not only the nuclear deal with the US but much more.

“It’s not just about the External Affairs Ministry. So many scientists and National Security officers are involved in this deal. All these people will feel terribly demoralised,” former envoy to Japan, Arjun Asrani said.

Some of the fallouts of the deal would be that France, Russia and Germany might not sign civil nuclear energy agreements with India. Hopes of being able to import uranium will also collapse.

And that’s not all there are other serious diplomatic implications too. The promise that the nuclear deal held out for transforming the India-US political relationship may not be realised. And India's campaign for a UN Security Council seat will take a tumble.

Also, Japan and ASEAN may no longer see India as a credible security and economic partner.

“We would lose credibility in the short run and in the long run we would miss out on something that we always aspired for which is breaking away from technological restrictions,” former envoy to US, Lalit Mansingh said.

As of now, the Government is pushing ahead on negotiations with the IAEA on an India-specific safeguards agreement. Special envoy Shyam Saran is also canvassing key NSG members Russia, Germany, Brazil and Argentina. The process is on but the end result still remains unclear.

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