New Delhi, Feb 20: US Senator John Kerry met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh here today.
Kerry, who is on a two-day visit to India, met Dr. Singh along with two other senators. The India-US nuclear deal reportedly figured in talks during the meeting. The agreement aims to allow New Delhi to have access to American nuclear fuel and reactors. It is being seen as the centerpiece of a new, strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi and could help India meet its soaring energy needs. The Indo-US nuke deal faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of the US Congress before the November 2008 presidential elections. Three steps are required to operationalise the deal.
India needs to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, get approvals from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and get a second backing from the US Congress.
The deal has been criticised by many outside India, including by some members of the US Congress, who say the deal unfairly rewards India and undercuts a US-led campaign to curtail the nuclear ambitions of nations like Iran.