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India intrigued by Bush's statement on fuel supply

September 12, 2008 16:35 IST

India is intrigued by President George W Bush's [Images] observations that the fuel supply assurances were 'not legally binding' and is expected to discuss the issue with the United States to seek clarity.

The observation made by Bush, in his determination to the US Congress while presenting the 123 agreement for consideration, is perceived as interpreting the pact differently.

N-deal: Embarrassing revelations

Official sources said that the observation is intriguing as the 123 agreement clearly specifies the responsibility of the US to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies, even if it terminates its own cooperation with India due to some reason.

The 123 agreement makes it incumbent upon the US to supply fuel by itself and by working with 'friends and allies' to enable India to obtain "full access to the international fuel market, including reliable, uninterrupted and continual access to fuel supplies from firms in several nations," the sources said, referring to the pact reached last year.

Implications of the NSG waiver

Bush's observations come close on the heels of unveiling of a State Department letter in which the US has made it clear that it will stop fuel supplies and other nuclear cooperation if India conducts a nuclear test.

New Delhi [Images] is expected to take up the matter with Washington to seek clarity on these, which have the potential of creating uncertainty over the fuel supplies issue, the sources said. 

Complete coverage: The Indo-US nuclear tango

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