Nuke deal stand-off not toaffect bilateral relation: US

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Kolkata, Apr 2 (UNI) US diplomat Evan A Feigenbaum today said the recent stand-off over the Nuke deal would not affect the bilateral relation as his country recognised India as a strategic partner in this continent.

He said the bilateral relations between India and US would not affect even after after the US election early next year.

'' The civilian Nuclear agreement is a good deal for both US and India as your government has to decide on future steps, '' Mr Feigenbaum, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, US Department of State, said.

Speaking at an interactive sesion on '' Current trends in Indo-US Relations'', Mr Feigenbaum said India's branded products were getting popularity among the US investors, and busines graph was getting upwards for the last decade.

Trade between India and the US was worth 41.6 billion dollars and expected to touch 60 billion US dollars by 2009, he informed.

'' We recognis India's capacity and its role in shaping future in South Asia, '' the US diplomat said on his first trip to this city.

To a question on whether the Left opposition on the Nuke deal left any adverse affect on the US investment in India, particularly West Bengal, Mr Feigenbaum said several Americans were interested in business partnership with India, particularly Kolkata.

India's student community's interest to study in the US (about 80,000) and vice-versa was basically a ''living bridge or human bridge'' resulting in the growth of common interests among the citizens of both countries, Mr Feigenbaum said.

Earlier in the day, the diplomat after inaugurating a new American Citizens Services (ACS) section at the US Consulate here said, ''We are absolutely committed to trying and reaching a favourable solution to this deal.'' He claimed that it was a beneficial deal for India, the US and energy security as a whole.

He said exploring new avenues of harnessing nuclear energy was absolutely essential to address the power crisis being faced by the world and ensure energy security for the future generations.

'' We are closely following the procedure being adopted by the Indian government. The deal is very much in India's interest, from our perspective, '' Mr Feigenbaum asserted.

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