New Delhi: Government told Parliament on 26 April that it expects the Indo-US civil nuclear deal to reflect the understanding between prime minister Manmohan Singh and US president George W Bush and the separation plan announced last year.
“India expects the bilateral India-US cooperation agreement to reflect the 18 July, 2005 joint statement and March 2006 separation plan,” external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee’s statement assumes significance as it comes amid reports that the talks on the 123 agreement, which will operationalise the civilian nuclear deal, are getting difficult due to differences on certain aspects.
The contentious issues in the 123 agreement relate to New Delhi’s right over reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and the fallout if India were to conduct an atomic test in future.
India insists that civil nuclear cooperation should not be affected if it were to conduct a nuclear test and should be treated at par with other nuclear weapon countries in this regard.
Mukherjee told Parliament that talks were held with US representatives in March and in Cape Town, South Africa last week.
“Talks on a bilateral India-US Agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy were held with US representatives in New Delhi from 25-27 March and in Cape Town (South Africa) from 16-20 April,” he said.