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US to send N-deal to Congress in Fall
July 31, 2007 12:03 IST
The United States Tuesday said it could send the civilian nuclear agreement to Congress for final approval sometime this fall, provided the other two steps -- India signing a safeguards pact with IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers' Group coming up with the exception for it -- are completed.
"Once those two steps are done, we'll be able to present the formal 123 Agreement with all these accompanying steps to Congress for their review and approval," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.
"I think we're looking at doing that some time in the fall, but obviously that's contingent on these other two steps moving forward," he said.
The deputy spokesman was asked if the agreement could be technically signed even before Congress gave its seal of approval.
"The agreement itself has now been finalised between the two countries. We need these two additional steps before we send it to Congress. In terms of signing dates or other things, I'd have to leave it to the lawyers on that one," Casey replied.
The important point is, "we're moving forward" with this, he added.
"We do need to get these other two pieces in place before presenting it to Congress. And then we look forward to having an opportunity to discuss it with the members on the Capitol Hill and hopefully to see them approve what we believe is a deal that's in the best interests of the United States and the best interests of India."