Manmohan Singh likely to meet George Bush in September to wrap up Nuke deal

August 5th, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, August 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to meet US President George W Bush next month to take the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal to its logical end.

According to our official sources, the nuke deal will go to the US Congress in September.

Earlier, the US State Department said that it was hoping to get positive results within the next month (i.e. September) when the members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group would discuss the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

Acting State Department Spokesman Gonzalo Gonzales on Monday said, “But now that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voted, we””re going to look to discuss this issue with the members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We””re hoping to get a positive result out of that some time in the next month”

“And then, hopefully, we””ll be able to represent this to Congress on September 8″ he added in a reference to the date law makers are returning for their session after the summer recess period.

The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal aims to lift a three-decade ban on the sale of U.S. nuclear fuel and reactors to India, imposed after it conducted a nuclear test in 1974, while staying out of non-proliferation agreements.

Once formalised, the deal would give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years, even though New Delhi has tested nuclear weapons and has refused to join non-proliferation agreements.

Three steps are required to operationalise the deal namely, safeguards agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group”’’s charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress.

The nuke deal, which has been clouded in controversy but gives India access to the U.S. nuclear fuel and technology, is potentially worth billions of dollars to the U.S. and European nuclear supplier companies and would give India more energy alternatives to drive its development. (ANI)

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