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N-deal: US will push for waiver in NSG

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | September 03, 2008 02:37 IST

With the Nuclear Suppliers Group all set to meet in Vienna [Images] on Thursday to consider waiver for India, the United States has said it will not 'give up the ship' and push forward for the agreement.

Coverage: Indo-US Nuclear Tango

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday said the United States believed that the deal is in the interests of global non-proliferation efforts and something that is worthy of NSG support.

"We are going to continue to work within the group and work with individual states to try to move it forward," he told the daily press briefing.

"We are not giving up the ship at all. It's a very tight series of deadlines that were out there, in terms of working this through the international system, working it through our Congress," McCormack said.

He said that the United States will be represented by Undersecretary for Political Affairs Bill Burns and acting Under Secretary John Rood at the NSG meeting in Vienna on September 4 and 5.

The spokesman said that the US will continue to move the case forward and is in touch with other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

"We believe that this is an issue in which the NSG should act and should move forward," McCormack said.

"But, again, there's a lot of hard diplomacy that goes -- goes into that in getting a consensus within the group," the senior State Department official said.

When asked whether a 'rump' session of the US Congress will be convened to push the Indo-US nuclear deal, McCormack said: "All I can say is we are going to keep pushing forward on it."

He admitted that some member countries of the 45-nation grouping have expressed concerns about the deal and 'we have talked to a lot of those various states'.

"I am not going to name them, but we have talked to a lot of them. They have announced themselves publicly. You can look it up and what their concerns are," McCormack said.

"We have made the assessment that this is in our interests, it is in the interests of India to develop civilian nuclear energy, while providing some assurances regarding non-proliferation activities," McCormack said.

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