Rice on way to India to celebrate n-deal

October 2nd, 2008 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghWashington, Oct 2 (IANS) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to India from Friday for talks including on the India-US civilian nuclear agreement, but it was not clear whether she will sign the landmark accord.Rice “will travel to India and Kazakhstan on Oct 3rd through the 5th,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Thursday. But he could not say whether she would also sign the implementing 123 Agreement while in New Delhi.

Rice will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and other Indian leaders on issues including the nuclear agreement passed by the US Senate late Wednesday, the spokesman said.

The approval bill removing the final legislative hurdle for resumption of civilian nuclear trade between the two countries after three decades is awaiting signature of President George W. Bush.

Rice, who spent much of last month in an all-out effort to persuade Congress to ratify the implementing 123, is hosting an event Thursday to thank State Department employees and others for their efforts to bring about this major foreign policy success.

Meanwhile, India’s ambassador to the US Ronen Sen has described the smooth Congressional approval of the deal as “a correction of a historical wrong”.

“A truly historical moment in terms of ending the long, long isolation of India not just in terms of nuclear commerce but in terms of high-technology denial,” he said, calling it “a sense of vindication for India and a correction of a historic wrong”.

“It is a historic moment and personally for me it is a deep sense of gratification,” said Sen who worked with the Atomic Energy Commission at the time of the Tarapur nuclear reactor agreement, later abrogated by the US.

“I remember the sense of frustration and the betrayal we felt at that time and now it has a come a full circle,” he said.

“In a real sense it is a completion of a truly historic process and there have been a lot of naysayers and doubters since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush first embarked on this journey in July 2005,” Sen said.

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