US still backs civilian nuke deal with India

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Washington, Jun 12 (UNI) The Bush administration has been firm in its support for the US-India civilian nuclear agreement and it continues to be so, said a State Department official.

Gonzalo R Gallegos, Director, Department's Office of Press Relations made this observation when asked about more information on the reports that the nuclear deal between the two countries is close to dead.

''Right now we are at a situation where this is with the Indian government and literally with the Indian people'', he told newsmen yesterday.

He said this is a matter for them to decide and then follow through with. ''We have consistently stated that we stand behind this, that we continue to support it and that we would like to move apace in terms of proceeding with the deal.

''I think, however, there is -- you know, the bottom line is the reality of the Congressional calendar that has to be dealt with.

We do hope that we can continue and possibly concludes this in near future'', Mr Gallegos said.

He declined to comment when asked about any hope that the nuke deal be completed before the end of Bush's term and said, ''I would be the last one -- if my boss and my boss's boss are loath to commit to dates, I am -- I fear it even more than they do''.

UNI XC KK PM0710

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