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India, US to hold further dialogue on Nuclear issue on Apr 7

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) India and the US will hold further talks on the civilian nuclear agreement here on April 7 when US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Richard Boucher, arrives for discussions with Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran.

Sources said Mr Boucher, accompanied by another Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker to carry the discussions forward, will arrive here on Thursday.

The discussions between the two sides will be held on Friday.

The visit by the US officials comes close on the heels of the Foreign Secretary's tour of the US where he held talks with several top officials of the US Administration including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns.

Both of them assured Mr Saran about Bush Administration's commitment to the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Mr Saran also met several members of the US Congress.

Mr Saran who also visited Vienna on his way back home, met Indian Ambassador Sheel Kant Sharma and briefed him about the forward movement on the agreement. Mr Saran returned home last night.

The sources said that Atomic Energy Chief Anil Kakodkar, who played a crucial role in the preparation of the Nuclear Separation (of Civil and Military programmes) Plan, will also be flying to Vienna this week for talks with the IAEA.

Dr Kakodkar is scheduled to discuss the 'India-specific' guidelines necessary for passage of the Indo-US agreement which is essential for its frution.

According to the Separation Plan, India has asked for 'India-specific' guidelines since it is a non-signatory to the NPT and at the same time, has an 'impeccable' nuclear record.

UNI RB ARB BST1948

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