New Delhi, Feb 20 : Urging speedy progress over the India-US civil nuclear deal, US Democrat Senator John Kerry on Wednesday said that New Delhi can take time till May to negotiate the bilateral agreement.
"In order to be able to have time to debate this and pass it in the senate, it will really probably have to be received somewhere in May, the latest," said Kerry who is on a two-day visit to the country.
Senator Joseph Biden, who was accompanying Kerry, stressed on the immediacy for completing the deal before the presidential elections in the US.
"If the agreement is not ratified in this Congress, whoever the next president is, we feel quite confident, will want to renegotiate the agreement. It will not be the same agreement that will come back up," said Biden.
The visiting three-member delegation comprising of Kerry, Biden and Republican Chuckel Hagel met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Indian Security Adviser MK Narayanan.
Three steps are required to operationalise the deal that include, safeguards agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group's charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress. By Naveen Kapoor