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Saran in US to clear doubts on N-deal

Saran will meet his US counterpart to discuss next steps in N-cooperation.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2006 14:42 IST

In the midst of US Congress' debate on Indo-US civil nuclear deal, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran will be in Washington from Thursday.

The Foreign Secretary will seek to clear the doubts that several American lawmakers have with regard to the agreement besides holding talks with Bush Administration officials.

Saran will meet Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns to discuss next steps in civil nuclear cooperation, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters in New Delhi.

He will also meet some US Congress members seeking to clear the doubts they have with regard to the civil nuclear deal, sources said.

India's impeccable record on non-proliferation front is expected to be highlighted by Saran.

Shyam Saran is visiting the US at a time when the American Congress is debating a legislation to allow trade with India in nuclear technology.

Considering that the civil nuclear deal will require endorsement by the 45-country Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), New Delhi has already started reaching out to its members some of which have reservations to allowing nuclear supplies to India until it signed the NPT.

Saran had met envoys of NSG countries in New Delhi recently to put across India's point of view, the sources said.

Saran and Burns will also discuss the steps to take Indo-US relations forward in various other areas identified during the recent visit of President George W Bush, he said.

These include knowledge initative on agriculture, recommendations of the CEOs Forum for closer economic relations between the two countries and bilateral science and technology Commission.

During his stay in Washington, Saran is also scheduled to deliver a lecture on "Indo-US relations: An agenda for the future" at the conservative Heritage Foundation.