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Senate leader allays PM's concerns on N-deal
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | December 06, 2006 10:41 IST
United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that law makers are 'working on' India's concern over certain aspects of the bills passed by the Congress to implement the civil nuclear deal.
Frist, in a telephone call initiated by him on Tuesday morning expressed confidence to Manmohan Singh that Congressional action on the legislation will be completed this week.
"I spoke with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on telephone over phone regarding the pending legislation to authorise the civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. I assured Dr Singh that one of my top priorities for the remainder of this Congress is to enact this legislation, and I told him I am confident that we will be able to complete congressional action on it this week," Frist said in a statement to the media.
Dr Singh stressed that there are a number of provisions in the bills passed by the House and Senate that are problematic for the Indian government because they depart from the understanding reached with President Bush on this issue on July 18, 2005.
Frist said he assured Manmohan Singh that his concerns would be dealt with, saying that he has named himself to be one of the negotiators on the bill 'in order to be able to participate personally in the process of refining the legislation.'
"I noted that I had appointed myself as a conferee in order to be able to participate personally in the process of refining the legislation, and assured him that we are working on the issues of concern to India. The enactment of this legislation will lead to a much more friendly and robust relationship between the United States and India. I told him we share that objective and are working hard to produce legislation that will help our two nations achieve it," Frist said.