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India will honour N-deal: Ronen Sen

The ambassador to US, during talks in Washington, also asserts that India has never reneged on its commitments.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2006 19:31 IST

Indian ambassador to the US says while the Bush administration is trying to fulfil its commitments on the India-US civilian nuclear deal, New Delhi will honour its part of the bargain.

Ambassador Ronen Sen said on Friday that while he had met a large number of US Congressmen, there was no active lobbying on his part as it was for the administration to secure Congressional approval for the deal.

"We will handle our part of the bargain," he said in a talk on "India-US Relations: The Outlook" at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Washington.

"We have never reneged on our commitments. When we enter into an agreement, we honour it," he said. "We have difficulties, but we have to take people with us."

While it was not proper for him as an envoy to comment on domestic political processes in the US, Sen hoped that there will be bipartisan support in the Senate, of the kind demonstrated in the US House of Representatives.

"This will generate greater investor confidence in both countries and internationally. I also hope that the final legislation will be in conformity with what was agreed upon in the July 18, 2005 Joint Statement issued during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to this country and the March 2, 2006 Joint Statement agreed to during President George Bush's visit to India," he said.

Asked if the alleged involvement of Pakistani intelligence in the July Mumbai train bombings would affect India-Pakistan peace process, Sen said: "We do hope, and we can only hope that Pakistan will honour its assurances."

He also hoped that as a follow up to the meeting between Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Havana in September, steps would be taken to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism around India.

Asserting that stability and prosperity of its neighbours was in India's interests, Sen said New Delhi was "extremely concerned" about the revival of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking about outsourcing, the envoy said: "Any objective analysis will reveal facts, including the fact that we import over 30 percent more than export; the fact that the net flow of resources is not from the US to India, but the other way around."

India-US relations had received a boost towards the end of the second term of the Clinton administration. The relationship was, however, propelled to unprecedented heights from the time President Bush assumed office, Sen said.

There were several factors for this rapid transformation, he said. India has been changing in terms of its economy and outlook - and so has the international situation - with growing recognition of new challenges in the post-Cold War period.

"The global nature of some of these challenges was perhaps not fully realised in this country before the traumatic tragedy of 9/11," Sen said.

"However, much before 9/11, President Bush perceived India not through a distorting sub-regional perspective, but in a broader perspective of an emerging global player, with which it would be in the interest of the US to build a strategic partnership."

The attractiveness of India as a business destination is being increasingly realised, he said. This is reflected in the increase in both foreign direct investment and foreign institutional investment.

Sen said there was scope for much greater investments not only in the services sector but also in manufacturing in India. India attaches the highest priority to investments in infrastructure - in ports, airports, roads, and the energy sector in particular.

"India-US cooperation has not just been of benefit to both our countries but is becoming an increasingly positive factor in international relations," he said.