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Home > News > Report

Ambassador Sen to visit India to discuss N-deal

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | December 07, 2006 01:11 IST

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Indian Ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen -- one of the key protagonists behind the US-India civilian nuclear agreeement -- will leave for New Delhi on Thursday.

This will be after the House and Senate vote on Wednesday -- expected to be by a voice vote -- on the compromise legislation to facilitate the nuclear deal, to reinforce the Indian government's arguments that the final bill is as perfect a bill as could have have been achieved, taking into consideration all of India's concerns.

Sen is expected to reinforce the arguments by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, the chief Bush Administration negotiator of the deal.

They hold that the final bill hammered out by the House-Senate conferees has been 'tweaked' to the extent that it addresses New Delhi's major concerns and has removed any conditionalities imposed upon India -- either perceived or contained in the House and Senate bills and replaced by presidential reporting requirements -- even though the amendments have not been eliminated.

The ambassador is expected to hit the ground running by meeting with the Prime Minister Mamohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other senior officials like the Defense Minister.

He will also meet the hierarchy of the scientific establishment and explain to them the nuts and bolts of the conference bill so that they in turn can convince the Leftist allies in the government coalition and others, including the opposition, that India's security interests have been preserved and all of India's concerns addressed.
However, some senior diplomatic sources told rediff.com, "Even though many of our concerns have been taken on board, having said this, I have to tell you that I am not trying to pre-empt what the reaction from Delhi will be."

Another diplomatic observer remarked, "Obviously with all of the political expediency at play on issues like this in Delhi or wherever else it may be, there would always be a different perspective on it," to the extent that India has either sold out or compromised its national security interests.

"But that's politics for you and to be expected," the observer added.




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