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Indo-US N deal may come through within months : Boucher

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The United States today expressed confidence that the Civil Nuclear deal could come through within a few months but asked India to ''further define'' the minimum credible nuclear deterrent as it was absolutely necessary for decreasing tensions in the region.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, who was speaking at a seminar here on 'The India-US friendship : Where We Were and Where We Are Going', said the successive US Administrations had pushed for India to further define its minimum credible deterrent, ''as we continue that today.'' ''We understand the complexity of this task having spent 40 years in discussion with the former Soviet Union over our nuclear weapons programme. We also understand that such discussions are complicated by China's intensions and by Iran's energetic pursuit of technologies that underlie nuclear weapons. But nevertheless we see this as an absolute necessary step towards decreasing tensions in Asia,'' he said.

Mr Boucher, who arrived here yesterday held talks with Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and Mr S Jaishankar, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs Ministry on various aspects of bilateral relations.

He said that the deal could come through within ''a few months'' and both countries were working hard to fulfil their respective responsibilities.

''I hope we can get it done in a few months from now. We are proceeding on all those (NSG, IAEA, US Congress and some bilateral Indo-US agreements regarding the deal) simultaneously. When they can come all together, I don't know...may be months. But we will get it done,'' Mr Boucher said replying to questions after addressing the seminar here organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He, however, rejected XXX picking up Third para of DI 70, External--India-US Boucher.

UNI RB PA BS2153

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