When US President George W Bush telephoned on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told him India still had concerns over the recently enacted US legislation on the India-US civil nuclear deal. This despite many problem areas having been addressed by Bush in a statement clarifying that several aspects of the legislation were “advisory” and not binding on his administration.
It was the first time the two leaders had spoken after Bush on Monday signed the Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 into law.
Bush expressed happiness at the strengthening of bilateral ties, an official statement from the prime minister’s media adviser Sanjay Baru said.
During the 10-minute conversation, the two leaders expressed the “hope” that India’s “remaining concerns would be addressed in the next stage of negotiations,” the statement added.
The prime minister conveyed his concerns, highlighted during debates in Parliament on Monday and Tuesday.
Some of the persisting concerns:
• Reporting requirements on Iran, which US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said “would not impinge on India”.
• Transfer of uranium-enrichment technology, which remains ambiguous.
• Act silent on reprocessing of spent fuel.
• Ambiguity on fuel requirements for reactors.
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