India, US to begin reprocessing talks before July-end

June 11th, 2009 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Amid reports of differences over nuclear issues, the US Thursday said it was committed to its civil nuclear deal with India and would begin negotiations on a crucial repreocessing agreement before the end of July.
“We are determined ro follow our obligations. We will start negotiations on a reprocessing agreement before the end of July,” US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns told reporters here.

He was replying to a question on speculation about difficulties in implementing the landmark civil nuclear deal that was signed between the two countries last year.

The agreement on reprocessing, part of the US’ obligations under the 123 bilateral agreement, enables India to reprocess the sensitive fuel.

The transfer of sensitive reprocessing technologies are currently barred under the US law save for exceptions like Japan.

Issues relating to nuclear business were discussed in detail when Burns met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Wednesday. They also figured in his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday.

The nuclear deal will again be in focus when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits India around July 20.

Burns also assured that negotiations on a technology safeguards agreement that allows India to launch spacecraft with US components is “making good progress” and will be signed soon.

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