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India rejects US demand to further define minimum credible deterrent

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) India today rejected US demand that it should further define its credible minimum nuclear deterrent saying it was not under any obligation to do so.

''...Whatever our credible minimum deterrent will be is for India to decide...On various occasions we have pointed this out to the US...We do have a strategic dialogue with the US where we have agreed to exchange views on our respective nuclear doctrines, also issues like missile defence that is legitimate.

But certainly, there is no responsibility on the part of India to declare what its minimum deterrent is,'' Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told NDTV.

He was reacting to the statement given here yesterday by US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher asking India to ''further define'' its credible minimum deterrent as it was absolutely essential for security in the region.

Asked if the deal did not go through, the Foreign Secretary said that given the kind of expectations it (the deal) had built up, there would be disappointment, a sense of lowered expectations, that would have an impact on Indo-US ties, though the overall momentum in the relationship would continue.

He, however, expressed confidence that the deal would be through the US Congress, especially because of the efforts of President George W Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

''Our sense is that across the board, there is great support for the new transformation in Indo-US ties and eventually it will get support from all sections of the Congress,'' he said.


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