U.S. President Barack Obama has certified that the Safeguards Agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its civilian nuclear facilities has come into force, in yet another step towards full implementation of the India-U.S. atomic deal.

A memorandum in this regard was issued on Wednesday to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as mandated by the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement Act regarding the safeguards agreement between India and the Vienna-based global nuclear watachdog.

Mr. Obama also certified that India has filed a declaration of facilities — as mandated by the agreement — that is “not materially inconsistent” with the facilities and schedule described in the Separation Plan presented in the Parliament on May 11, 2006, taking into account the later initiation of safeguards that was anticipated in the Separation Plan.

The Presidential action came amid questions being raised in some quarters about the Mr. Obama Administration’s commitment to implement the landmark bilateral nuke deal.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a joint news conference with Mr. Obama at the White House on November 24 last year said the President had assured him of his ‘full and complete’ commitment to implementation of the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

Mr. Singh had also said, “I am confident and I have the assurance of the U.S. President that this process will be over without much further loss of time.”

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