Bush signs nuclear pact with IAEA

Wednesday, 31 December 2008, 03:27 Hrs
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Washington: U.S. President George W. Bush Tuesday signed a nuclear inspection agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that will boost global monitoring of nuclear activities, the White House said in a statement.

Bush signed the "instrument of ratification of the protocol additional to the agreement between the U.S. and the IAEA" to implement nuclear safeguards, the statement said.

The protocol was signed in Vienna June 12, 1998, and the U.S. Senate approved it March 31, 2004. Till date, 118 countries have signed the protocol with the IAEA and 89 countries have ratified, the White House said.

The pact improves the IAEA's ability to detect clandestine nuclear weapons programme in non-nuclear weapon states, it said.

The U.S. as a nuclear weapons country and party to the Nonproliferation Treaty was not obligated to accept IAEA safeguards on its nuclear activities, it added.

But wide acceptance of the protocol would contribute significantly to US nonproliferation objectives, the statement said.
Source: IANS
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