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India intrigued by Bush observation

delhi Updated: Sep 12, 2008 21:35 IST

PTI
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India is intrigued by President George W Bush's observations that the fuel supply assurances were "not legally binding" and is expected to discuss the issue with the US to seek a clarity.

The observation made by Bush in his determination to the US Congress while presenting the 123 agreement for consideration is seen in New Delhi as interpretation of the pact "differently".

Official sources said here 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.

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 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.