US President George W Bush spoke with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and reviewed negotiations on the civil nuclear cooperation deal over the past week.
The telephone call from the US President comes days after foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon’s visit to the US for negotiations to ensure that the deal does not slip off the track. US Under Secretary Nicolas Burns is expected to take this process forward when he visits India later this month.
The US had hinted that the negotiations were expected to be closed during this visit; Menon had, however, declined to spell out a time frame but emphasised that the deal was “do-able”.
“The two leaders expressed happiness at the strengthening of the bilateral relations and reviewed developments pertaining to negotiations on bilateral civil nuclear cooperation,” a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru said. Bush also invited Manmohan Singh to visit the US again.
“The Prime Minister accepted the invitation and said mutually convenient dates will be worked out,” the statement said. Singh had last visited the US in 2005. It was on this visit that the two leaders had signed the July 18 civil nuclear cooperation agreement that drew the contours of cooperation between the two countries in this field.
The two leaders also discussed other regional matters and those pertaining to the agenda of the G-8 Outreach Summit due next month.
Singh conveyed India’s commitment to work with other countries to deal with the problems of climate change and global warming. But Singh made it clear that problems of environment could not be solved by perpetuating poverty in developing countries. The two leaders, who discussed the Clean Development Mechanism, agreed that the emphasis has to be on greater energy efficiency and the development of new technologies.
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