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Home > India > News > PTI

Uncertainty over N-deal may rise if US admn changes: Saran

May 06, 2008 16:18 IST

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Pressing for the completion of the Indo-American nuclear deal during the tenure of President George W Bush [Images], Prime Minister's Special Envoy Shyam Saran on Tuesday said 'political uncertainty' over the agreement could increase if the government in Washington changes.
He said the Left parties had raised 'valid questions' on the 'nature of obligations of India and the obligations of the US' under the agreement and the government was trying to address the allies' reservations while stressing on the advantages of going ahead with the deal.

"This government has a commitment to the agreement and every effort possible will be made to see the deal through," the former foreign secretary, who has been India's key interlocutor on the deal, said while interacting with members of the Women's Press Corps in New Delhi.
Asked about the prospects of the deal if it failed to go through during the tenure of the Bush administration, he said, "Obviously, the sooner we have the deal, the better. As the process continues, the world is not standing still. The level of political uncertainty will increase. Therefore, it is in our interest to get it through sooner than later."
Saran noted that there are 'certain political realities on the ground' here and also on the US side.Underlining that it was 'not a matter of going this far and leaving it unfinished', he said the nuclear deal is a joint enterprise between India and the US and therefore 'we have to work together to make it a practical reality'.

"People have concerns over India's strategic programme, our indigenous R&D programme. They have said these should be sacrosanct and should not be compromised," Saran said, adding that the government was trying to ensure that 'whatever was promised in the joint statement becomes a practical reality.'

The PM's special envoy reminded that the government has kept Parliament and the civil society fully informed on what happens in the negotiations.

On the fate of the deal if a new US administration has to consider it, he said: "The encouraging aspect is that when the last time the US Congress dealt with the issue, there was a very broad bipartisan support. That bipartisan support was based on the recognition that Indo-US relations are very important and will become even more important."     

"As long as that consensus is there across the political spectrum in the US, then whenever it comes up before the US Congress, we feel there is a good chance that political bipartisan will continue," Saran added.

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