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N-deal made under special conditions: Rice

Rice said United States has not yet made any decision on whom to support.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2006 02:15 IST

Declining to give any commitment to review America's stand on not to extend the Indo-US deal on civilian nuclear energy to Pakistan, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday night said Washington has made the agreement with New Delhi under "special circumstances."

"The deal we made with India is under special circumstances," Rice, who held talks with President Pervez Musharraf on a host of issues during her surprise visit to Islamabad, told a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri in Islamabad.

Rice said talks with the Pakistani leadership were inconclusive and would continue.

Washington is having very "fruitful" discussions with Islamabad on how to provide "reliable, safe and clean" energy, she said replying to a question whether Pakistan has raised the issue of extending the US-India nuclear deal.

Kasuri said talks between Rice and Pakistani leadership were inconclusive and several issues were expected to come up during further discussions.

The Secretary of State, who was scheduled to stay in Islamabad overnight, also preferred to be non-committal when a reporter asked her whether she would support the candidature of a woman to contest for the post of UN Secretary General.

The question was asked in the backdrop of reports that Pakistan plans to field its envoy from London Maliha Lodhi to oppose India's candidate Shashi Tharoor.

Rice said United States has not yet made any decision on whom to support. "A decision on whom to support would be made in the course of the next couple of months," she said.

She, however, added that the Secretary General should be somebody who is committed to UN reforms. "UN is certainly an important institution in which US is a permanent member and which we rely on for support.

We do need UN reforms," she said adding that US would hope to have Pakistan's as well as other countries' support to bring about reforms in the world body.

Rice also said that she has discussed the importance of Pakistan government holding free and fair polls during next year's general elections in the country.

She apprised President Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Kasuri about the importance the international community attached to free and fair elections next year.

Kasuri said besides holding talks on the situation in Afghanistan, Rice has been apprised about the Indo-Pak peace process and the country's stand that New Delhi and Islamabad should move forward on conflict resolution.

The talks between Rice and Musharraf covered a broad range of issues, including intensifying cooperation in economic and counter-terrorism areas, a release from the Pakistan President's office said.

Musharraf spoke about Pakistan's firm commitment to fighting terrorism. He also spoke about Pakistan's growing energy requirements and said it expects US cooperation in this regard, it said.

He stressed on the need for continuing cooperation in the area of intelligence sharing to make the ongoing anti-terror campaign more effective.