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US ready to work on N-deal till Jan 20

world Updated: Jun 18, 2008 13:09 IST

PTI
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Ahead of the UPA-Left meeting to resolve differences over the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, Washington has said it would make every effort to get the pact through Congress by January 20 next year when the new President assumes office.

"From now until January 20th, we'll continue to work to support this agreement. We'll continue to encourage the Indian government to approve it. And if in such time it is approved, we will make every effort to move it through Congress," the State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said.

"And we certainly hope that the next administration, whoever comes to office in January, would also see this agreement as something fundamentally in America's interest and want to move forward with it as well," the top official said.

"... Fundamentally, we think the India civil nuclear agreement is something that's in the interest of both countries. The obstacle has been that the Indian government has some internal political issues it needs to resolve before it can move forward with it," Casey said.

The Deputy Spokesman was asked whether it is unlikely for the nuclear deal to move forward.

"I would say that it's less -- we have fewer days now to do it than we did yesterday, and fewer days now than we did two days before it," Casey replied.

The UPA-Left committee will meet today to discuss whether the government should go ahead with signing of the safeguards agreement with IAEA; a step required to operationalise the nuclear deal.

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