PM’s Japan visit for G8 meet on course

July 1st, 2008 - 1:13 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) With his government indicating it will go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal despite the Left’s opposition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to travel to Japan to attend the G8 summit July 7. “The prime minister will go for the G8 summit. There is no reason why he should not,” a top government source, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.

Asked whether Manmohan Singh will attend the G8 summit, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told a TV news channel: “No party whether inside or outside the coalition has any right to dictate the prime minister’s foreign visits.”

Manmohan Singh is keen that the ruling coalition takes a final political call on the taking the nuclear deal forward before he leaves for the G8 summit of the world’s wealthiest nations to be held in Hokkaido in Japan July 7-9 to which India is invited as one of outreach partners.

Manmohan Singh will meet US President George W. Bush and other leaders of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) nations on the sidelines of the summit.

That is why he is keen that a decision on the deal is taken before he asks for the support of influential NSG nations for India’s bid for global nuclear cooperation.

Manmohan Singh Monday gave a renewed push to the nuclear deal saying that he will bring it to parliament before “operationalising” it.

Stressing that he wanted to finalise an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the prime minister said he wanted the “authority to proceed with the process of negotiations through all stages like the IAEA and NSG” and assured that this will not tie down the hands of the country.”

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