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Rice not arriving tomorrow, likely on Saturday

October 01, 2008 23:39 IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images], who was slated to arrive here tomorrow to sign the 123 civilian nuclear agreement, has rescheduled her visit and is now expected on Saturday.

The visit has been rescheduled apparently because of delay in the passage of the 123 agreement by the US Senate.

Rice was earlier slated to arrive in India on Thursday night on a two-day trip during which the two sides were to sign the 123 agreement.

She is now expected to begin her visit from Saturday, official sources said.

The agreement will be signed if it is approved by the Senate by then, they said. The House of Representatives has already passed the pact.

Rice, whose visit has been pending for over a year mainly because of uncertainty over the nuclear deal, will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on bilateral and regional issues.

They are expected to deliberate on ways to take the bilateral strategic partnership further.

The agreement, initialled on August 1 last year, was earlier expected to be signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and US President George W Bush [Images] during the former's visit to Washington last Thursday.

However, it could not materialise as the Congressional nod got delayed due to procedures.

Rice has been leading the push in getting the deal approved by the US Congress and in this regard has been working with key lawmakers. 




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