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Mukherjee arrives in Washington

world Updated: Oct 10, 2008 22:21 IST
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External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Washington on Friday to sign the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal to operationalise the bilateral 123 Agreement.

Mukherjee and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will ink the bilateral instruments relating to the "Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy" that will take care of the final administrative aspects.

The signing ceremony is scheduled to take place in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department at 4 PM on Friday (1.30 AM IST on Saturday).

The formal signing ceremony that could not take place during Rice' visit to New Delhi last week due to India's concerns on certain riders in the US Congressional legislation on the nuclear deal, is being held after US President George W Bush assured New Delhi that the new law makes no changes on fuel supply assurance commitments or the terms of the 123 agreement.

India's Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs also gave the go ahead to Mukherjee to sign the agreement after approving the pact initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Bush on July 18, 2005.