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Deal-backers in US rejoice, plan ahead

With the big hurdle in the Lok Sabha crossed, supporters of the nuclear deal in the US now focus on the next steps of taking it forward, reports V Krishna. Highs & Highs of the Big Deals

world Updated: Jul 23, 2008 03:14 IST
V Krishna

With the big hurdle in the Lok Sabha crossed, supporters of the India-US nuclear deal in the US are focusing on the next steps. A State Department spokesman said, “We look forward to working with the Indian government to take this agreement forward.”

Indian American businessman Ashok Mago of Dallas said he was delighted, but it was too early still to celebrate. “We still have to go through the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the US Congress.

Entrepreneur and community organiser Swadesh Chatterjee of North Carolina said, “We are ready to do everything in our power to get Congress to approve the agreement.”

Time is likely to be an issue, Chatterjee said. If the agreement reaches Congress in September, the required 30 days may not be left in the Congressional calendar to consider the measure. “We have to convince Congress to have a lame-duck session,” Chatterjee said.

The US-India Business Council pledged to energise its Coalition for Partnership with India to move the IAEA to reach a safeguards agreement with New Delhi. “This marks a historic victory for India and the globe,” said Ron Somers, president of the council.

Earlier in the day, as speeches on the deal continued in Parliament, the White House praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “soldiering on” with the deal.