Nuclear deal in trouble

Nuclear deal in trouble
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First Published: Sat, Apr 21 2007. 12 57 PM IST
Updated: Sat, Apr 21 2007. 12 57 PM IST
By SJR
Sridhar Krishnaswami
Washington, Apr 21 (PTI) Expressing frustration over the slow pace of negotiations on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the Bush administration, however, has made it clear that some of the things insisted upon by India require changing American laws which cannot be accomodated.
“Fair to say that there’s probably some frustration on the part of the administration as well as the Congress on the pace of these negotiations,” State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters here.
His comments assume significance as they came days ahead of a scheduled visit of Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on April 30 and May one to Washington followed by a visit of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns to India in May to speed up the negotiations.
Replying to a query on Burns’ visit, he said “Nobody’s questioning the Indian government’s goodwill and good faith in this regard. And it’s a useful opportunity to bump up the level of discussions to take stock of where we are right now, so you have essentially a political-level discussion, as opposed to just the experts-level discussion. And they’re going to explore ways that we can energize the discussions so that we can get this done.”
“We still have faith that we’re going to be able to get this agreement done, and we believe that the Indian government is committed to that. But we’re at a stage in these particular negotiations where we think we need to raise the level of dialogue to a political level in order to move it forward,” McCormack added making the point that he will not go to the extent of saying that all hope is lost. (MORE) PTI SK SJR
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First Published: Sat, Apr 21 2007. 12 57 PM IST
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