PM unfazed by Left threat: says will clinch nuke deal with US

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On Board Air India One, Jul 7 (UNI) Making clear his commitment to go ahead with taking the necessary steps for clinching the nuclear deal with the US, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was not worried by the Left threat to withdraw support to his government over the issue.

'' Well, I am not worried (on the support withdrawal). As and when such a contingency arises, we are well-equipped to deal with it,''he told the media while travelling to Toyako, Japan, to attend the 34th G8 summit.

Stating that he has several bilateral meetings with world leaders lined up for tomorrow, the Prime Minister said he would definitely seek the cooperation of the global leaders in both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

Declining to comment when the government will go the IAEA Board of Governors, he said it would be soon and ''we hope the Board will take a 'quick decision.' I hope the world community will help India tackle all this as soon as possible.'' Fortunately, India has the support of major world powers such as the US, Russia, France and the UK, he said.

'' I do not expect the decision (from IAEA) to be a problem but I cannot anticipate how much time it will take,''Dr Singh added.

On China, he said he had discussed the Indo-US nuclear deal with Chinese leaders.

'' I cannot say I have a firm assurance but I have a strong feeling that when the matter comes up before the relevant international fora China will not be a problem,'' Dr Singh said.

Asked what he would tell US President George Bush, the Prime Minister said,'' I will tell Mr Bush what I have always told him that we remain committed to the agreement. It has been my effort and will be my effort to push the agreement and the Government remains committed to it.'' UNI SAA RP HT1820

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