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Indo-US bilateral nuke pact talks next week
June 10, 2006 17:33 IST
India and the United States will formally launch negotiations on the bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement on Monday, amid indications from Washington that this pact could be linked to the civil nuclear cooperation deal currently under debate in the Congress.
A team of American officials, comprising representatives of the State Department, Department of Energy and Bureau of Security and Non-proliferation, will be in Delhi for three-day talks with their Indian counterparts to negotiate the Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement or 123 Agreement, sources said on Saturday.
The talks on the agreement 'reflect a desire to establish a framework for broad-ranging peaceful nuclear cooperation', US Embassy sources said.
The negotiations on the bilateral agreement are set to be as tough as those on the civil nuclear cooperation agreement, considering that suggestions have been emerging from the US that India should be made to put a cap on future nuclear testing and that if it conducts a test, the cooperation would be nullified.
Pointing out that it has already declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, New Delhi has made it clear that it will not want to make it legal.
Complete coverage: Indo-US nuclear tango