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Home > News > Report

N-Deal: PM says efforts on to reach at consensus

Indrani Roy Mitra in Pretoria | October 17, 2007 22:09 IST

The India-United States civil nuclear deal is far from being shelved.

At least that is the notion one got from Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's [Images] statement at the second India, Brazil [Images] and South Africa summit held in Tshwane, Pretoria, South Africa, on Wednesday.

While replying to a question on how does he intends to balance out the talks on energy deals with political constraints back home, the prime minister said, "Efforts are being evolved to arrive at a consensus on the Indo-US N-deal."

This statement by Dr Singh keeps the hope of the deal alive just at a time when it seemed to have met a dead end. Such a thought was precipitated by the prime minister's comment at a summit in New Delhi last Friday that if the "N-deal does not come through, it won't mean the end of the world."

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said during a press briefing on board prime minister's special aircraft that India must be part of a global nuclear system. "Isolation will hit our national interest," he had said.

Incidentally, United States President George W Bush [Images] spoke to Dr Singh last Monday on the India-United States civil nuclear deal.

The prime minister explained to Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalisation of the agreement. This statement by the prime minister seemed to have almost officially put the deal on the backburner, which has become a bitter bone of contention between India's United Progressive Alliance government and its ally, the Left.