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India to know status of N-deal in Congress
May 21, 2006 21:55 IST
With the American Parliamentary elections drawing nearer, India will seek to know the stage at which the civil nuclear deal is in the US Congress when Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran holds talks with his American counterpart Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns in London this week.
Saran, who will travel to London on Tuesday, is expected to ascertain from Burns the assessment of the Bush Administration about the time line by which the crucial deal is likely to be passed by the Congress, sources told PTI in New Delhi.
Both India and the Bush Administration are working hard to get the legislation on the nuclear agreement passed as early as possible considering that elections are due later this year for the US Congress. The legislation, when passed, will end a 22-year-old ban on trade with India in nuclear technology and materials.
During the Saran-Burns meeting, the Indian side is expected to assess what steps the US government is taking to ensure that the deal is cleared by the Congress.
New Delhi is worried that if the deal is not passed by the present Congress, an effort will have to be made afresh to lobby with the members of the new Congress. Besides, the composition of the new Congress will also be crucial, the sources said.