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US cautions time running out to ratify N-deal

world Updated: Jul 08, 2008 20:47 IST

PTI
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The US on Monday, expressed its "strong commitment" to get the stalled nuclear deal with India through but cautioned that the time was running out to ratify the landmark accord during the tenure of President George W Bush which ends in January next year.

A day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with Bush on the sidelines of the G-8 summit, White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino said the US Congress had "limited number of legislative days to get a lot of work done."

Replying to a question on what was expected to come out of the Bush-Singh discussions, she told reporters in Toyako "I think it's a little premature to say, but obviously we've maintained a strong commitment to carrying through on our side of the deal. And obviously India has had a lot of discussion amongst its political parties."

"It's been a long road, and there's been a healthy debate," she said.

"We'll have to see what he (Singh) is able to bring on the India Civil Nuclear Agreement. I would say it's premature to say right now, and we'll let him come and present what he has for the President. And it could be that he's ready to move forward, but it also could just as likely be that they have a little bit more work to do."

But, she said, "we obviously recognise, as well, that we have a limited number of legislative days for our Congress to get a lot of work done."

Singh, who struck the deal with Bush in July 2005, is in Japan for the five Outreach countries' meeting with G-8 and is scheduled to meet the US President in Toya, about 200 kms from here, on Wednesday.

Singh may brief Bush on recent political developments in which he has won new and crucial political support for the deal at home in the face of severe opposition from the Left.