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Bush-PM meet lasts just few minutes
Sheela Bhatt in Heilingendamm, Germany | June 08, 2007 17:18 IST
Last Updated: June 09, 2007 00:12 IST
The keenly-awaited meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the ongoing G-8 summit in Heiligendamm in Germany [Images] was expected to lead to a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
However, with Bush going down with a stomach ailment, all that was possible was a pull-aside meeting at which Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon was also present.
There won't be a formal bilateral meeting between Dr Singh and Bush for now, sources in the Indian embassy here told rediff.com.
This is a far cry from the bonhomie evident between the two leaders since 2005, when Dr Singh travelled to Washington, DC - the first such visit by an Indian prime minister in four years - and during which trip the historic nuclear deal was signed between the two leaders.
Since then the two have met a few times at various forums, each meeting strengthening the ties between the world's largest and oldest democracies. Every time the nuclear deal ran into a roadblock, the Bush administration stepped in to smoothen the path.
Now in its last lap, where it is hobbled by American insistence and India's unwillingness to cede what it considers its sovereign rights, the nuclear deal was expected to be delivered home by the Bush-Singh summit. However, with the US president's indisposition, that is not to be, at least for now.