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|June 12, 1998||
US appeal to G-8 countries to stop loans to India will have little effect: MEA
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's appeal to the G-8 summit in London to stop loans to India will have little effect, senior ministry of external affairs officials said on Friday night.
The MEA officials, who spoke on condition that their names not be revealed, said Albright's statements on Thursday and Friday indicated that the Clinton administration is concerned that other countries from the developed world, especially from the G-8 orbit, are taking advantage of the US sanctions against India. The Indian diplomats said the US sanctions have almost imposed a ban on American companies from competing in the information technology, oil exploration and power markets.
With US companies virtually eliminated from bidding processes, the field is wide open for the Europeans and Japanese. In the past few days, the corporate sector has been agog with speculation that some major deals are in the process of being finalised, the officials point out.
Albright's statement about collective action by the G-8 nations against India, the MEA mandarins claimed, were meant to counter European and Japanese companies, intruding on American turf in India. Interestingly, they added, the concept of collective action against India and Pakistan had been turned down at the meeting of G-8 leaders at Birmingham last month.
France and Russia have openly expressed their disapproval of the sanctions. An estimated $ 8 billion worth of arms transactions are in different stages of negotiations between India and countries like France and Russia.
For instance, the Union government is anxious to conclude an agreement to buy Advanced Jet Trainers for the Indian Air Force. It was stressed that the Vajpayee government wants the AJT deal to be finalised before the Sukhoi-30 jets are inducted into the IAF.
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