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Dr Singh will help push N-deal over the line: US

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | September 20, 2008 01:19 IST

The United States on Friday said that one of the reasons for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] visit to Washington next week is to help push the bilateral civil nuclear agreement 'over the line' so that the agreement can be wrapped up.

"And one of the reasons Prime Minister Singh will come to the White House is to help push that over... the line, so that we can get it done," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino [Images] said.

'Let N-deal process take its course or ...'

Her remarks assumes significance as they come ahead of the Prime Minister's meeting with US President George W Bush [Images] on September 25 and the disconnect between New Delhi [Images] and Washington on the legal validity of the American assurance of fuel supply.

As the Bush administration pushes for a fast track ratification of the 123 agreement to operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, she said, it has "significant support in Congress that would allow us to get this through".

'India has right to test, US has right to respond'

"We do believe that there's significant support in Congress that would allow us to get this through. I hope that they would be able to get it done next week," Perino said when asked if the pact will go through the Congress.

The US official stressed the critical importance of the nuclear agreement to energy security and environment.

Senate questions India's non-proliferation record

"The 123 agreement that we have been working with India and then with our Congress is critically important to energy security and also for the environment," Perino said.

The top White House official assured the mediapersons to keep them updated and "see if there's anything more to add".

'US firms can't be compelled to sell fuel to India'

"And I would encourage you to check with the Senate to see if they have it on the schedule," she added.

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