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Indo-US nuclear deal will be signed soon: Rice

Krishnakumar P in New Delhi | October 04, 2008 17:29 IST
Last Updated: October 04, 2008 18:46 IST

There are no 'open issues' about the India-United States nuclear agreement and President George W Bush [Images] will sign the enabling legislation very soon, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] said on Saturday.

"The 123 Agreement is done. It is just a matter of signing the agreement. I don't want anyone to think that we have any open issues. There are only some administrative details to be worked out," Rice, who is in New Delhi [Images] on a day-long visit, said.

Rice arrives in Delhi, won't sign 123 pact

Rice's visit has been postponed quite a few times and it was said that she would come to India to ink the deal with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. But that did not happen because President Bush is yet to sign an enabling legislation.

Explaining the delay, Rice said: "The President wants to sign it very soon. The way it works, a bill, once it is passed
from Capitol Hill, has to be enrolled and transmitted to the White House."

Left observes 'Black Day' to protest Rice's visit

She added that the Hyde Act is consistent with the 123 Agreement. "The administration has made it clear several times in the past and will do so again that the Hyde Act is completely consistent with the 123 Agreement and vice versa. It is such a historic agreement and the United States will stand by its commitments," she said.

 The Indo-US nuclear deal

Mukherjee echoed Rice's confidence about the deal and said it will be signed shortly at a mutually convenient date. "The entire civil nuclear initiative is in the last lap. We look forward to cooperating with the US in signing and bringing the 123 Agreement into effect, and moving on to the commercial arrangements.

Now it's time to look further ahead: Rice

"We look forward to signing the 123 Agreement and bringing it to effect soon. We have completed the process of legislation in the US Congress and I hope it will be signed shortly," he said.

On the other spheres of the India-US relations, Rice said the ties between the two countries is one of the broadest that the US enjoys and it will grow in the coming years.

'It's the most transparent deal in Indian history'

"Among all the strong relations that the US has, the one with India is easily among the strongest. The last several years have been better years for India-US relations and as President Bush's administration nears its end, I know that whoever becomes the next president of the United States will carry it forward," she said.

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