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US is ready for N-deal regardless of timing

world Updated: Dec 06, 2007 12:45 IST
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The US said on Thursday it will move forward on the civilian nuclear deal whenever India is ready as it "understands" that New Delhi needs to work through the political process in the country.

"In terms of the decisions within the Indian political system, we (the US) respect the needs and the rights of their political leaders to work this through themselves. But we're ready and able to move forward whenever they (India) would like us to," State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said.

He, however, said that regardless of the outcome or the timing of the agreement, Washington will continue to expand its relations with India, which is "an increasingly important player on the world stage".

"We understand that the Indian government has its own political process that it needs to work through, and we fully expect that, regardless of the outcome or the timing of this agreement, we're going to continue to expand our relations with India," the senior official told reporters while replying to a query.

Casey expressed the hope that the deal will be finalised as it was in the best interest of the two countries and global non-proliferation efforts.

"We continue to believe it's something that's in the best interests of the United States, of India, and of the broader international community in efforts to inhibit the proliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons," he said during a briefing.

"So we want to make sure that not only we see this nuclear agreement move forward, but that more importantly, our broader relations with India continue to develop and grow," he said.