Cong downplays special correspondence on nuke deal

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New Delhi, Sep 3 (UNI) Seeking to downplay the special correspondence of the Bush administration to the US Congress saying that it would not sell sensitive nuclear technologies to India, the Congress tonight said there was no need to be panicky about it as both the countries were bound by the 123 agreement on the India-US civil nuclear pact.

"If at all there is any such correspondence, it is insignificant. We are bound by the Joint Statement issued by US President George Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 2005," AICC Spokesman Veerappa Moily told UNI here.

He said the Joint Statement recognised India as having advanced nuclear technology. "This is synonym for nuclear weapons state," he said, in reference to the correspondence which said that the US administration would end nuclear trade with India if New Delhi conducted a test.

In this context, he said the correspondence was of no consequence to India as it was an 'internal communication' between the US government and the Legislature.

The purported special correspondence, which had remained secret for nine months, was made public yesterday by Rep Howard L Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to a report published by the Washington Post.

UNI SH PK HS2158

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