US envoy meets Shyam Saran, discusses 'N' deal

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (UNI) The US Ambassador to India, David Mulford, today held discussions with Mr Shyam Saran, Prime Minister's Special Advisor on the Indo-US Nuclear agreement.

The discussions are significant as these come a day before the crucial meeting of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna on the issue.

Mr Mulford who is leaving for Washington tomorrow to brief the Bush Administration, discussed with Mr Saran the latest developments here on the deal following the Left Parties warning to the government to put it in limbo for six months or face ''political crisis.'' Although US embassy officials described the meeting as ''routine,'' which the Ambassador normally holds before going to the US, sources said it was primarily held to discuss the developments on the issue in the wake of the Left Parties' caveat yesterday.

The sources said discussions focussed on the steps to be taken to implement the agreement.

The meeting between Mr Mulford and Mr Saran came a day after the US envoy said at a seminar here yesterday that India should take ''last steps'' to operationalise the deal.

Yesterday, the Left warned of a ''political crisis'' if the deal was not put on hold for six months pending discussion in Parliament.

The meeting between Mr Mulford and Mr Saran also came a day prior to the Special session of the NSG at Vienna tomorrow called by the US to brief the 45-nation powerful nuclear lobby about the agreement which needs a green signal from the NSG for implementation.

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