US Congressman Gary Ackerman meets PM

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New Delhi, July 4 : US Congressman Gary Ackerman met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here today in the backdrop of the Bush administration support to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

Ackerman, who is also the chairman of the House of Representatives panel on west and south Asia, was accompanied by five other delegates at the meeting.

Ackerman had earlier expressed his doubts over getting the approval of the USongress for the 123 Agreement, the final step towards operationalising the nuclear deal before the end of the term of George W Bush's administration.

Ackerman's comments that time was running out ahead of U.S. congressional and presidential elections in November and the inauguration of Bush's successor in January were the most explicit of a series of statements by lawmakers and officials. The pact, which gives India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and technology, is potentially worth billions of dollars to U.S. and European nuclear supplier companies and would give India more energy alternatives to drive a booming, trillion-dollar economy.

The pact, signed by Bush and Dr. Singh in 2005, would give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and technology the country had been denied after its 1974 nuclear bomb test.

The deal has been in doldrums due to stiff opposition by Left parties combine, which is supporting the India's ruling coalition from outside.

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