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PM misses out on memorable birthday gift
September 26, 2008 11:19 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], who turned 76 on Friday, was deprived of what could have been his most memorable birthday gift, as he couldn't ink the historic India-United States nuclear agreement with President George W Bush [Images].
Singh, who is India's 14th prime minister, was born on September 26, 1932, in a village in the Punjab province of undivided India.
The landmark accord, which the Bush administration worked overtime to get approved in time for the prime minister's visit, could not get a legislative nod at the Congress,which is bogged down with the financial bailout package.
The 123 agreement, which earlier received an overwhelming approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, however, looks set to receive a Congressional nod after key lawmaker Howard Berman shed his tough line on the accord.
Berman, who is Chairman of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the Senate version of the Bill of Approval in the House of Representatives on Thursday.
It is understood that the House, which was considering the bill, has put off the voting due to pre-occupation with the financial bailout package and some other issues.
While the process on sealing the deal is underway, both Singh and President Bush showered praise on each other.
During their 40-minute meeting at the Oval office in White House today, Singh praised Bush's important and historic role in forging several bilateral initiatives, including the civil nuclear deal.
"When the history is written, I think it will be recorded that President George W Bush played a historic role in bringing our two democracy closer to each other," said Singh.
Bush, on his part, told the prime minister that it has taken a "lot of work on both our parts, a lot of courage on your part" to get the deal close to operationalisation.
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