N-deal: US to expand its ties with India

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Washington, Dec 6:The United States appears determined to expand its bilateral relations with India, regardless of the outcome or the timing of the US-India civilian nuclear agreement.

To drive his point home, State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said yesterday that ''it [India] is an increasingly important player on the world's stage and it's a country with which we have much in common and for too long, weren't working with in the way we are now.'' ''So we want to make sure that not only we see this nuclear agreement move forward, but that more importantly our broader relations with India continue to develop and grow,'' he said.

Spokesman Casey said, ''we certainly want to see this agreement move forward. We hope it will. In terms of the decisions within the Indian political system, we respect the needs and the rights of their political leaders to work this through themselves, but we're ready and able to move forward whenever they would like us to.'' In reply to a question, he, however said, he was not aware of any recent contacts between the Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and senior Indian officials on this subject.

''We would very much like to see this agreement move forward and be finalized. We continue to believe it's something that's in the best interests of the United States and India along with the broader international community in efforts to inhibit the proliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons,'' he said ''As we've said, though, we understand that the Indian Government has its own political process that it needs to work through,'' the US State Department spokesman further said.

So we want to make sure that not only we see this nuclear agreement move forward, but that more importantly our broader relations with India continue to develop and grow, he concluded.


UNI

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