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US expects progress on N-deal before Bush visit
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC | February 08, 2006 13:00 IST
The United States is "closely" working with India on the "actual implementation" of the Indo-US nuclear deal and is hopeful of making "some progress" on it in the coming weeks leading up to the visit of President George W Bush to New Delhi in March.
The discussions are focused on a "workable proposal" by India on the separation of its civilian and military nuclear facilities, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said during a briefing here Tuesday.
"We have continuing discussions with the Indian government on the issue. The key component of these discussions is a workable proposal from the Indian government on the separation of their civilian and their military nuclear programs. So we continue to work with them on that issue," he said.
"We don't yet have anything to report in terms of a final agreement, but we think -- we hold out great hope that we are going to be able to make some progress here in the coming weeks on that issue," he added.
The US, he said, appreciates Indian concerns on energy security which is why "we have been working so closely with them on actual implementation of the agreement," signed between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W Bush in July last year.
He also said that the US was "pleased" that New Delhi decided to vote "with many other countries" to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear programme.
Acknowledging that the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be travelling with the President when he visits the region shortly, McCormack would not say if the State Department is planning to open additional diplomatic posts--or one in Hyderabad. "...we are looking at how we are arrayed in India. The Secretary talked about the importance of transformational diplomacy and shifting assets to those key areas of the globe where we might not have as many assets as we like. India she used as an example. So we're going to be taking a look at that...", he said.