PM, Bush meet; nuclear deal not concluded

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Washington, Sep 26 (UNI) The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal could not be concluded today in the absence of a nod from the US Congress as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush met at the Oval Office and held discussions on a wide range of issues, including the civilian nuclear initiative, Both the leaders appreciated each other's efforts for trying to get the deal through during the 45 minutes meeting, which started at 1710 hours and ended at 1755 hours local time (0230 hours IST).

Whie President Bush said the civilian nuclear agreement had taken a lot of work on both countries, Prime Minister Singh said a great deal of credit would go to the US President for taking India out of the the ''nuclear apartheid'', whenever it would end.

''It (the civilian nuclear initiative) has taken a lot of work on both our parts, a lot of courage on your part, and of course we want the government to satisfy you and get it out of our Congress. And so we are working hard to get it passed as quickly as possible,'' President Bush told the Prime Mnister.

The Prime Minister said, ''for 34 years, India has suffered from a nuclear apartheid. We have not been able to trade in nuclear material, nuclear reactors, nuclear raw materials. And when this restrictive regime ends, I think a great deal of credit will go to President Bush.'' The Prime Minister, flew in from New York for the crucial meeting, was told by President Bush that he was working hard on the deal.

''It's in the US interest to have a good strong strategic relationship with India,'' the President said at the meeting.

The meeting began about 15 minutes late because President Bush was holdngtalks with in talks with Presidential candidates Barak Obama and John McCain on the 700 billion dollar bailout plan for US companies.

Editors, pick up suitably from the earlier series.

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