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N-deal: US asks India to take early steps

US envoy Mulford will be in Washington on Thursday to brief the Bush Administration about the fate of the N-pact.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2007 23:40 IST

The US on Wednesday impressed upon India the need to take early next steps for implementation of the civil nuclear deal which has got caught in a political controversy in New Delhi.

US Ambassador to India David Mulford met Shyam Saran, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on nuclear issue, to discuss future of the atomic agreement.

Mulford, who was to leave for Washington hours later, wanted to assess the stance that the government would adopt in view of the Left parties' opposition to operationalisation of the deal, sources said.

The two deliberated on how to go about in implementing the agreement, with the US Ambassador emphasising the need for taking the next steps as early as possible as delay could endanger the agreement, they said.

Mulford will be in Washington on Thursday to brief the Bush Administration about the fate of the agreement. He is expected to apprise the Administration about the measures India is taking to implement the deal.

After conclusion of the 123 Agreement, India is required to negotiate a safeguards agreement with IAEA and seek changes in NSG's guidelines to allow it to have nuclear trade with the international community. Following these two steps, the 123 Agreement will be put to vote in the US Congress.