India thanks IAEA chief for getting nuclear agreement through

      Visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad El-Baradei called on External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna here on Wednesday. Talking to reporters after meeting El-Baradei, Krishna said the visit gave India an opportunity to thank El-Baradei for his help in getting the safeguard agreement through at the IAEA. "Well, I think he is on his farewell visit and he is laying down his office by the end of October. He has been a great friend of India and that has given us an opportunity of saying thanks for all that he has done to get us the needed exemptions from the international atomic energy agency," Krishna added. El-Baradei is on three-day farewell visit to India. Earlier, El-Baradei was honoured with the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. The award was given for El-Baradei's impassioned opposition to the use of nuclear energy for military purposes and his unwavering espousal of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, sustained over the years. Mohamed El-Baradei, during his thanksgiving speech after receiving the prize, expressed his happiness at this lifting of restrictions on India's nuclear trade and placed trust in India that it would maintain the highest standards of nuclear safety and security. El-Baradei, 67, played an significant role in India clinching the safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which paved the way for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) clearing India's re-entry into international nuclear commerce last year in September.

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