Manmohan finds George Bush 'uncomplicated' person
New Delhi, Mar 04: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finds US President George W Bush to be an 'uncomplicated' person who is easy to do business with.
"What I promise I will deliver, and what I cannot deliver I will not promise," Mr Bush told Dr Singh very early in the series of meetings they have had since September, 2004, according to sources close to the Prime Minister.
The two leaders met for the first time that month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Later, they met during the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow in May, 2005 and during the G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.
In July last year, Dr Singh visited Washington for a historic summit meeting with Mr Bush.
The US President paid a state visit to India this week during which the two sides sealed a landmark agreement on cooperation in civil nuclear energy.
According to the sources, the deal would not have been possible but for Mr Bush, who had committed himself to helping India address its energy security concerns despite the many objections to the deal raised by the anti-proliferation lobby in the US.
The two leaders have developed great chemistry between themselves and this was apparent to all those who watched them during their interaction in Delhi this week.
For instance, there were the live television pictures of Mr Bush putting his arm around Dr Singh and whispering into his ears when the Prime Minister broke with protocol to receive him at the Delhi airport on Wednesday evening.
Those, according to the sources, were not sweet nothings but rather an urgent message that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had something important to discuss with the Prime Minister on the last-minute hurdles in the plan proposed by India for the separation of its civil and military nuclear facilities.
Ahead of US Air Force One's landing here, Ms Rice had called up Dr Singh to complain about the "impossible demands" being made by Indian negotiators. The Prime Minister firmly told her he had already outlined India's position in a statement to Parliament and there was no way his team could deviate from that.
The sources said the deal finally became possible only because of a political decision at the highest level on both sides.
"We must have an agreement," President Bush is understood to have told his team as the two sides went into a final round of negotiations that night till the wee hours of the next day.
The two leaders learnt that the deal had been struck only when Ms Rice informed them about it at the start of the delegation-level talks that followed the one-on-one meeting between Dr Singh and Mr Bush on Thursday. They announced it at a joint press conference a little later.
The sources, who were close to the negotiations at all stages, said Dr Singh had a long discussion with Ms Rice on Wednesday evening. At one juncture, when the talks appeared to be getting stuck on the permanent safeguards issue, Dr Singh talked about it to Mr Bush, who, however, indicated that he never got directly involved in such negotiations.