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US still hopeful about implementation of nuclear deal
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | October 16, 2007 13:38 IST
With India virtually putting the India-United States nuclear agreement on hold, Washington on Tuesday said that it is hopeful that New Delhi will continue its efforts to implement the agreement.
Without disclosing the details of the conversation between US President George W Bush [Images] and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Monday night, the State Department said the deal was 'positive and good' for both the countries as well as for the broader efforts of non-proliferation.
"It's up to the government of India to talk about their efforts. Again, I think we're going to continue to work on our part and we assume they're going to continue to work on theirs and it'll be done in a time that is appropriate for both sides," said deputy spokesman for the State Department Tom Casey.
Asserting that the US continues to support the agreement, the spokesman said one of things the government needed to do to implement the agreement was to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency and establish a safeguards arrangement.
"On our side, we will of course need to work out an appropriate arrangement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group. And certainly we want to see that get accomplished. But again, in terms of the timing and the discussions internally within the Indian political system, I'll leave that to them," Casey said.
The senior US State Department official said the arrangement was positive for both the countries and the broader international community. "We'd like to see it done as soon as possible, but that's within the context of what each country has to do and has to accomplish," he said.
Earlier on Monday morning, a spokesperson of the National Security Council maintained that a conversation between Bush and Singh, who is on a five-day two-nation tour of Africa, was not on the schedule.
But later in the evening, the two leaders had a telephonic conversation where the prime minister explained to Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, a release issued by Prime Minister's media advisor Sanjaya Baru said.
"Each one of these agreements is complicated. They've got a whole variety of things associated with them. I'm not going to try and tell the Indians how to manage their own internal process on this," said Casey.