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PM hopeful of concluding N-deal despite delay
V Mohan Narayan on board Air India 001 | November 20, 2007 16:34 IST
As India is set to begin talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the safeguards agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Tuesday said he has not given up hope of a satisfactory outcome in the process of concluding the India-United States nuclear deal.
He sounded optimistic on the negotiations coming to a successful conclusion at an early date so that the agreement could be presented before the UPA-Left Coordination Committee.
"There has been some delay. I cannot deny it. But I still hope the process of building a viable national consensus will yield satisfactory results. So I haven't given up hope that we can reach a final, satisfactory outcome of this matter," said Dr Singh, who was talking to reporters on his way to Singapore to attend the ASEAN Summit.
He was replying to a question on whether he was hopeful of a timeframe for concluding the nuclear deal.
Asked what were the chances of the nuclear deal going through if a consensus proved to be elusive, he said, "We will cross the bridge when we reach there."
To a question on whether he expected the India-specific safeguards agreement to be brought before the United Progressive Alliance-Left Coordination Committee by the end of this year, Dr Singh said, "I hope as soon as possible."
The prime minister said he was hopeful of the negotiations between the government and the IAEA that were going to begin soon of reaching a successful conclusion.
"I hope they can come to a successful conclusion. We will bring them back to the UPA-Left Coordination Committee," Dr Singh said.
Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar is set to begin talks with the IAEA on India-specific nuclear safeguards on Wednesday.
The UPA-Left committee had on Friday given clearance to the government to go ahead with the talks on country-specific safeguards with the IAEA.