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India a responsible steward of N-power: US
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March 29, 2008 15:28 IST

Applauding India as a "responsible steward" of atomic power, the US has said it looked forward to "trying to complete" the civilian nuclear deal this year so as to bring New Delhi to the "mainstream".

"We're absolutely committed to this initiative. We think the initiative is good for India. It's good for the United States. It's good for the global proliferation regime. But it's also good for energy development in India," deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, Evan Feigenbaum, said in an interview to Times Now.

He said the US has been following "very closely" the progress of political discussion and political debate in India, which still has some steps to complete with the IAEA.

"We're ready to move, and when the Indian government is ready to move we'll be ready to move as well. We're hoping to do that this year. We're committed to doing it this year. And so we look forward to hearing from the Indian side how they plan to proceed with the IAEA," Feigenbaum said.

"But as I said, we look forward to trying to complete the initiative this year, and we think it's a good initiative for both sides."

Asked what is likely to happen if the deal is not introduced to Congress by August, Feigenbaum said "well I don't really want to get into hypotheticals.... And we'd like to try to move it forward this year."

"The nuclear initiative is an important initiative. We've put a lot of investment into it, and so we're hoping to move forward on it," he said.

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