Richard Boucher to visit India next week

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New Delhi, Mar 2 : US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher will be on two-day official visit to India from Tuesday. The two countries are expected to review progress on the implementation of the civil nuclear deal.

According to sources, Boucher is expected to meet the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Gayatri Kumar and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon. It is expected that the nuclear issue would be the main topic of discussions and India would provide an update on its talks with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the safeguards agreement.

India and IAEA have had five rounds of negotiations after which the two countries have reported "considerable progress" and have moved further closer to the agreed text of the agreement.

Finalisation of the safeguard agreement with the IAEA is a key step towards operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

This has to be followed by the waiver by Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to allow India to have civil nuclear cooperation with the international community.

The US has been asking India to take a fast decision on the nuclear deal, as the prospects for completion of the deal are very bleak.

During Boucher's visit, the two sides will also discuss about the developments in Pakistan, Nepal and other countries in the region.

India and the US will also exchange views on the latest situation in the backdrop of recent elections there.

ANI

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