Bush admin hopeful of continuing progress in Indo-US ties

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Washington, Nov 19 (UNI) The Bush administration appears hopeful of its successor Obama administration continuing with the kind of bilateral relationship that it had developed with India, including in the nuclear field.

An indication to this effect was given yesterday by White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino in reply to a question relating to the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, which has already been cleared by the US Congress.

She was asked whether ''President Bush is going to leave this [the agreement] up to the next President-Elect Obama, as far as final bureaucratic things are still on his table?'' Ms Perino said, ''Well, I think that the next administration will be able to decide for itself whether or not they want to continue that relationship that we've established with India. But I would see no reason why they shouldn't.'' Earlier, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, inter alia, had made known to New Delhi that the President-elect attached high priority to the further strengthening of relations between India and the United States.

Ms Albright, nominated by Obama to meet with foreign delegations during the G-20 summit here last week, conveyed the incoming President's views to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Mr Ahluwalia, who accompanied Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the summit, had met Mr Albright during his stay here. Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen was also present.

Later, an Indian Embassy press release said that they had an exchange of views on issues related to the current international economic and financial crisis, the Summit, and also bilateral relations.

UNI XC RJ RN0950

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