PM returns with G-8 support on Nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Jul 10: Having secured the support of Group of Eight leaders of the major economies of the world for India's civil nuclear agreement with the United States, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned home on Thursday, July 10 to face political divide and a possible trust vote in Parliament on the issue.

Chair of the G8, in a summary report after the conclusion of the three-day summit in Tokayo, Japan, last evening, said ''We look forward for working with India, the IAEA, the NSG and other partners to advance India's non-proliferation commitment and progress so as to faciliate a more robust approach to civil nuclear cooperation with India to help it meet its growing energy needs in a manner that enhances and reinforces the global NPT regime.'' Earlier, unfased by the Left parties withdrawal of support to his government, the Prime Minister said in Japan that India's relationship with the United States ''has truly acquired the characteristic of a genuine strategic partnership.''

In a statement made after his 50-minute bilateral meeting with US President George W Bush on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Toyako, the confident PM said ''We have (made) progress in nuclear cooperation, space cooperation, defence cooperation and educational exchanges.''

The Foreign Secretary said the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told the Indian Prime Minister that they will have a ''positive look at India's civlil nuclear agreement with the US.'' Both the PMs wanted their good relations to develop faster and Mr Rudd has accepted Dr Singh's invitation to visit India later this year, he added.

Exuding confidence, Menon, who too has worked hard for the deal along with Dr Singh and is privy to all that happened at the summit and on its sidelines, said Prime Minster has informed him that he found ''tremendous amount of goodwill for India'' from all leaders who attended the Tokayo summit as also from the leaders of Outreach Five (O-5) which, besides India, includes China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Menon said the Prime Minister, who is likely to again visit Japan later this year on a reciprocal visit to that of Shinzo Abe to India in August, last year, also had a good conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fakuda in Toyako.

The two leaders discussed the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Dedicated Freight Corridor between the two Indian metros, he added. The 100 billion dollars industrial project is to come up on public-private partnership basis.

The Foreign Secretary said the Prime Minister, during his interaction with the Indonesian President Dr Singh discussed the progress of India's proposed free trade agreement with the Asean countries.

He said the Canadian Prime Minister appreciated the role of India in Afghanistan in spite of the difficult situation there. India lost its two senior officials and two ITBP personnel in the suicide bomber's attack at its embassy in Kabul on July 7.

Menon said President Bush has condemned the terrorist attack at the Indian mission and during his meeting with the Prime Minister reaffirmed his determination to fight terrorism and rebuild Afghanistan.


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