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US unhappy over India's nuclear statements
September 07, 2005 23:37 IST
A day ahead of important testimonies in the American Congress on the agreement with India on civil nuclear cooperation, Washington on Wednesday voiced its disapproval on certain statements emanating from New Delhi relating to nuclear issues.
"I want to make a cautionary point that we need to be extremely careful in our public statements. We are both engaged in a difficult process," US Ambassador to India David C Mulford told reporters in New Delhi.
Mulford was apparently referring to the reported statement by India's Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar that the segregation of civil and defence nuclear facilities, as committed by New Delhi in the nuclear collaboration agreement, will be undertaken in a phased manner over a period of time.
"We should avoid statements that make things difficult," the US envoy said.
He said it was important to make sure that India's commitment to separating civil and military nuclear facilities had to be clear.
The change in laws needed to make the collaboration possible was a public process, requiring the nod of the US Congress, he said indicating that public statements could influence opinions.
US Under Secretary Nicholas Burns will on Thursday make a testimony before the US Congress on the nuclear agreement. Congress' approval is needed for certain changes in US laws to allow the transfer of technology.
"There will be hearings in the US Congress. It is not a bureaucratic process, but a public process," Mulford said.
Asserting that the US was working towards building support for India, he said America approached the Nuclear Suppliers Group to obtain a consensus in that group for India.
The US envoy said his country was engaged in moving forward on the agreement with India on the civil nuclear front even as it was maintaining its commitment to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its allies.
"We are not moving away from that position, but we want to normalise relations with India," he said.