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N-deal will be consummated, Ronen Sen tells AAPI

Aziz Haniffa in Las Vegas | July 01, 2008 11:14 IST

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Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen has assured the members of largest and arguably most influential Indian-American professional organisation in the United States that their lobbying efforts on behalf of the US-India civilian nuclear agreement will not be in vain and that ultimately the deal will be consummated.
Speaking at the 26th annual convention of American Association of Physicians of Indian origin held in Las Vegas [Images], Sen also asserted that the US-India strategic partnership is more comprehensive that any other bilateral relationship that India has, and pointed out that he should know since he was a former ambassador to Moscow [Images], erstwhile high commissioner to the United Kingdom and ex-envoy to Germany [Images].
Thanking AAPI for its support for the US-India civilian nuclear deal, Sen said, "I would like to assure you that we will do our best to see that all the time, the effort that you have put into this endeavour will not be in vain."
"I sincerely hope that it will not be in vain and we will achieve that objective," he said, and added, "I am hopeful. Why I am hopeful? Why, because to any objective observer, it is evident what the advantages of that initiative are."
"I don't want to get into the politics -- that's a different matter. But, its advantages are not in terms only of energy security, it's a vitally critical element of our national security," Sen, said.
"It's good for development," he added, and noted that "we are seeing that 70 per cent of our oil is imported. We are very vulnerable."
Sen predicted, "That percentage is going to increase further -- to 80 to 85 per cent. We have seen the impact of inflation in India because of the growth of oil prices."
He also argued that that civilian nuclear deal was important "not only for economic development," and claimed that "because of this energy prices and because of the energy constraints, a minimum growth rate of 2 per cent annually is being sacrificed, and with this 2 per cent growth rate or 2.5 per cent growth rate, we are not able to generate enough employment and without generating enough employment into what could be a demographic dividend can become a demographic disaster."
Earlier, in his remarks, Sen said that the US-India relationship is "more broad-based, it is more comprehensive than any of India's relationship with any other country in the world."
"And believe me," he said, "I've been ambassador to� I mean, I was in Russia [Images], I was high commissioner in UK, I was ambassador in Germany, I was in many other places, but one thing is that it's more comprehensive."
"When you talk about the economy, you talk about investments, when you talk about trade, you talk about science and technology, any area -- you look at defense -- there's been a very rapid transformation taking place. We have military exercises of incredible complexity, which are of increasing size and complexity, covering all, virtually all dimensions-counter-insurgency, counter-terrorist operations at sea, on land, in the air and in all aspects. (Also) in the field of education, culture, covering all aspects of human activity," Sen said.
"As one of my colleagues pointed out when I was talking about the comprehensive nature of our engagement," he said, the US-India relationship "covers everything from the mango to the moon," referring to the US-India mango deal and NASA's [Images] decision to send American payloads on India's first mission to the moon later this year.
"So mangoes to the moon," Sen declared.

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