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N-deal to closely adhere to joint statement
May 05, 2007 04:00 IST
The India-United States civilian nuclear agreement will adhere as closely as possible to the July 2005 joint statement (signed when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Washington) and the March 2006 Separation Plan (signed when President George W Bush visited India), India on Friday said amid expectation that the pact to operationalise the deal could be finalised soon.
Close on the heels of high-level talks in Washington on the 123 Agreement, where "extensive progress" was made, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the strategic partnership between the two countries has truly matured into one of considerable substance.
"Observers of the relationship, especially in the last two years, have devoted a significant proportion of their attention to the landmark India-US nuclear understanding," he said inaugurating a conference on 'Business in and between India and the US - Legal and Regulatory Framework'.
He said much of the attention the initiative has received is a reflection of its tremendous importance, including its impact in changing perceptions both among public at large and within the governments of the two countries.
"We (India and the US) remain committed to implementing the understanding expeditiously in a way that it adheres as closely as possible to the framework of the July 2005 Joint Statement and the March 2006 Separation Plan," he said.
Mukherjee's comments came three days after talks between Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and US Undersecretary Nicholas Burns in Washington to iron out differences on the 123 Agreement. They reported extensive progress in the parleys and agreed to hold the next round in Delhi later this month to finalise the agreement.