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Home > News > PTI

'India made unrealistic demands in N-deal'

April 20, 2007 22:24 IST

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Frustrated by the slow pace of negotiating the final agreement, the Bush administration has apparently told India that it wants a 'major push' next month to complete negotiations before the nuclear deal unravels from bureaucratic inertia and increased Congressional anxiety of New Delhi's dealings with Iran, a media report said on Friday.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon will visit Washington on May 1 for a couple of days of negotiations and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns will visit India later in the month to try to wrap up the agreement.

'There is a strong sense of frustration in Washington, in the administration and in Congress, about the fact that the Indian side has progressed so slowly in this effort. We urge it to accelerate its efforts. The bottom line is that we are committed to this deal. We do not question the goodwill of the Indian government, and I believe we will overcome the problems we are encountering,' Burns has told The Washington Post.

The Post report noted that US officials are saying that 'India has made unrealistic demands, such as retaining the right to test nuclear weapons.'

The Congressional bill said nuclear cooperation could be suspended if India conducted a test, and some Indian analysts argue that the Congressional bill changed the nature of the deal, the media report said.

What is also being stressed in The Post is that a latest development has further complicated the matter -- the recent indictment of two persons on charges that Indian government agencies conspired to obtain secret weapons technology from US companies.

It has been pointed out that at least eight Senators, led by Jon Kyl, Republican from Arizona and Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California, have signed a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that will be sent later this week calling on India to 'cease all military cooperation with Iran immediately.'

The letter notes a recent announcement that the two nations have created a 'joint defence working group' and argues that 'putting greater military capabilities into the hands of an unstable regime can only damage the long-term security of a responsible nation like India.'

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