Indo-US Nuclear deal hits roadblock

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Washington, Oct 4: Indicating that the nuclear deal may not be inked during her India visit, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has arrived in India, has said there are still a number of administrative details to be worked out, even as she insisted that the US would abide by the Hyde Act on the testing issue. As US President George Bush is yet to sign the bill into law the nuclear deal may not be signed due to apparent procedural hitches.

"There are a lot of administrative details that have to be worked out. This (the deal) was only passed in our Congress two days ago. The President is looking forward to signing the bill, sometime, I hope, very soon, because we'll want to use it as an opportunity to thank all of the people who have been involved in this," said Rice.

"That refers to the US-India, the Indian American community, the US-India business community, and the diplomats and others who have been involved," Rice told reporters on her way to India, according to a transcript released by the State Department in Washington.

Rice said the Bush administration is working through administrative details but the more important thing now is to look beyond the historic agreement to what else could be done in the broad bilateral relationship.

"I'm going to draw a line under this one way or another, because this is now time to put the historic agreement, say that it's done, and move on to what else we can do, because we've got a very broad relationship. It's got to be worked out at the last minute, because there are so many administrative issues that we have to deal with," said Rice.

Elaborating further, she said, "For instance, we have to enroll the bill when it comes over from the Congress. So look, the important thing about this trip is to talk about the next steps in the US-India relationship, not the last step."

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