US stays strong on n-deal, but says time limited

July 8th, 2008 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Arun Kumar
Washington, July 8 (IANS) As the Left parties withdrew support to the Indian coalition government Tuesday, White House reiterated its strong commitment to the contentious India-US civil nuclear deal, but also pointed to the “limited” time left to complete the process. With President George Bush away in Japan for the G8 summit, there was no immediate reaction from the Washington establishment, but hours earlier White House spokesperson declined to speculate on what news Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would bring when he meets Bush Wednesday on the sidelines of the summit.

“And it could be that he’s ready to move forward, but it also could just as likely be that they have a little bit more work to do,” spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters in Toyako in Japan Tuesday when asked what were their expectations from the Bush-Manmohan Singh meeting.

“But we obviously recognize, as well, that we have a limited number of legislative days for our Congress to get a lot of work done.”

Asked if Bush expected to be told that there’s an all-clear for the nuclear deal, Perino said: “I think it’s a little premature to say, but obviously we’ve maintained a strong commitment to carrying through on our side of the deal.

“And obviously India has had a lot of discussion amongst its political parties. It’s been a long road, and there’s been a healthy debate.”

The G8 meetings are good for a lot of reasons; one of those is that all leaders can get together and have a discussion as a group, she said.

But also, they’re wonderful opportunities for bilateral discussions, she added and so the president takes advantage of as many opportunities as he can to meet with leaders on an individual basis.

“He’ll do that tomorrow with Prime Minister Singh. And we’ll have to see what he’s able to bring on the India Civil Nuclear Agreement. I would say it’s premature to say right now, and we’ll let him come and present what he has for the president.

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