Bush calls Manmohan Singh to discuss nuke deal

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Washington, Jul 25 (UNI) US President George Bush called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which both the leaders expressed the desire to see the US-India Civil Nuclear agreement move forward as expeditiously as possible.

A spokesman for the US National Security Council Gordon Johndroe gave this information to newsmen immediately after the two leaders had talks yesterday.

The White House call followed two days after the Dr Singh's government won the vote of confidence in Parliament defeating the challenge posed to his four-year-old government's existence both by the Left and Right opposition on the controversial nuclear deal.

Earlier On Wednesday, the State Department hoped that the efforts would be made to secure the US Congress' approval to the deal in its current session.

A Department spokesman said it was going to communicate to Congress the importance that the US attached to this measure, "how important we believe that this strategic partnership will be for India, for us, and for others concerned with security around the world." The spokesman, however, said he understood that the Congressional agenda was tight. "We have the situation that we have. But we do look forward to moving forward with this, and we'll do so as quickly as we can." But, the nuclear deal must be approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before the US Congress takes it up for consideration.

Under the agreement, India would open its civilian reactors to international inspections in return for US nuclear fuel and technology.

Besides the nuclear issue, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh discussed the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks currently taking place in Geneva.

Johndroe said the two leaders discussed the contributions of all leading WTO members to a breakthrough in the talks.

UNI XC NC RAI1304

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