New Delhi, Aug 26 : The US Ambassador to India David C. Mulford has said that his country is committed to work with India to rapidly complete the remaining steps necessary to conclude the civil nuclear cooperation initiative.
"The US and India stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their desire for a clean exception and we will continue to work with our Indian partners to persuade the NSG countries that such an exemption is in the international community's best interest. " Mulford said on Monday.
"Ahead of the scheduled NSG plenary on September 4, the United States and India will continue our vigorous joint advocacy for the initiative at the highest levels of NSG governments," Mulford further said.
However, he did not promise that the waiver the US must push through the 45 member NSG to allow nuclear commerce with India would be unconditional.
Earlier on Sunday, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar told reporters in Mumbai that India would not allow itself to be pushed over the nuclear deal and it would accept the waiver only if it was within the parameters of July 18, 2005 Indo-US Joint Statement, adding that civil nuclear cooperation is important but that does not mean at any cost
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the Indo-US nuclear deal is currently the country's "principal focus" on the civil nuclear front.
"Our principle focus right now has been on the India civil nuclear deal, having worked through the IAEA, now working through the NSG, and still trying to get into a position to make the appropriate presidential determinations in early September. So that's our focus right now on the civil nuclear side," a news agency quoted Rice as saying.
With the nuke deal as part of his agenda, US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher, who was present at the External Affair Ministry here on Monday, said the deal would be pushed at the highest level. But the biggest concern now is on testing. India is arguing that NSG countries should frame own domestic laws on issue of testing and that NSG guidelines already deal with violations.
Boucher on Friday indicated that the draft being considered by Nuclear Suppliers Group to allow India to conduct nuclear trade might undergo some changes that would be discussed between the two countries to see what can be "accommodated".
However, he said nothing would be allowed to impede the deal and he did not specify as to what kind of changes would be made in the draft, which was moved by the US at the NSG meet on August 21 in Vienna.
The draft has been finalised after tough negotiations between Washington and New Delhi, which has been keen on ensuring that no conditions are attached to the waiver.