Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the nuclear deal with the U.S. were progressing well, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Sunday.

Mr. Mukherjee, convener of the UPA-Left committee, said that the November 16 meeting of the committee had decided that the talks should continue.

The outcome of the talks would be presented to the committee for its consideration before the government finalised its findings.

The text of the IAEA Safeguards Agreement was a highly technical issue and it was being worked out. After the “language” was determined, it would be placed before the committee, he said.

“The next course of action will be decided only after discussions.”

There was no reason to believe that the government was facing any immediate threat of withdrawal of support by the Left parties, he said.

He was referring to the reservations of the Left parties about the nuclear deal and speculation about their withdrawing support .

“Nothing is happening to suggest that the Left parties will withdraw their support tomorrow and elections will be called the next day,” Mr. Mukherjee said, adding that talk of such threats would be there “as long as coalition governments exist.”

Earlier, Mr. Mukherjee called on veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu at the latter’s residence in Salt Lake. The meeting lasted nearly 20 minutes.

He said he went there to enquire about Mr. Basu’s health.

More In: Today's Paper