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India, US reach understanding on nuke deal, terrorism

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 2: In a major breakthrough, India and the United States today (Mar 2, 2006) reached a 'mutually satisfactory' understanding on the implementation of last year's civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement, that is expected to end this country's nuclear isolation and allow it access to the American nuclear technology to meet its growing energy needs.

The landmark deal, reached after marathon negotiations which continued until this morning, was reached between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush at their wide-ranging talks at the Hyderabad House here.

"We have reached a mutually satisfactory understanding that was outlined in the July 18 (2005) agreement," Dr Singh said at a joint press interaction with President Bush after the talks.

He said it was now for the US Government to go to the Congress and make necessary amendments to the laws (for implementing the deal) and to approach the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)." New Delhi, he said, would also go to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to work out India specific safeguards for its civilian nuclear facilities.

For his part, President Bush said, "We concluded a historic agreement on nuclear power. It's not easy for the Prime Minister to reach the agreement." Asked how he would get the US Congress approval for the deal, he said he would convince the members that it was in the economic interests of the US to meet India's critical energy requirements.


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