Keen on a quick wrap up of the Indo-US nuclear deal, the United States on Tuesday said the 123 agreement could be signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush during his visit to Washington later this month if the pact is adopted by the Congress by then.
"We are now in the final phase. The 123 agreement is to be presented before the US Congress. That process is ongoing. We hope to do it in the next few days and then hope for action (by the Congress)," Ambassador David C Mulford told a press conference in New Delhi.
He said the "bipartisan" support that was there in the US Congress during the passage of 123 agreement last year still exists and hoped for an early approval of the pact by the American legislature by an 'up-and-down' vote.
Mulford said the 123 agreement could be signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with President George W Bush during his planned visit to Washington later this month if the pact is passed by the Congress by then.
"If the agreement is not passed by the US Congress during its current session which ends on September 26, there is possibility of a 'lame-duck' session after the Presidential polls in November," he said.
Mulford said senior officials of the US Administration are engaged in a dialogue with the key leaders of the Congress with regard to the introduction of the agreement.
On the requirement of 30-day notice for introduction of any document in the US Congress for approval, he said there has been a precedent of waiving this requirement.