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India allays Pak fears over N-deal with US

October 11, 2008 14:57 IST

Expressing its determination to build 'good relations' with Pakistan, India on Saturday said there was no reason for Islamabad [Images] to be apprehensive about implications of the Indo-US nuclear deal as it was committed to non-proliferation and voluntary moratorium on testing.

"So far as the apprehensions of Pakistan are concerned, I can assure you we are determined to build good relations with Pakistan; and in fact we are doing so through the mechanism of the composite dialogue. We are addressing all the outstanding issues between our two countries," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told a press conference in Washington.

Mukherjee, who was in Washington briefly to sign the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images], was asked to comment on the implications of the deal with respect to Pakistan and New Delhi's [Images] response should Islamabad pursue a similar initiative with either the United States or China.

"The statement issued by (Pakistan) President (Asif Ali) Zardari (after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images]) is really encouraging.

"And there is no reason for any apprehension by Pakistan -- India's commitment to non-proliferation is second to none; and we have in my statement of September 8 reiterated our continuation of voluntary moratorium, which we declared in 1998," he said.

In respect to civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and the United States, Mukherjee said, "We would like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy as we believe every country has its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."




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