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'Approval for N-deal will strengthen relationship'

Minister of State for Industries said Indo-US relations entered new phase.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 15:44 IST

Expressing confidence that the initial legislation pertaining to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal will be "flagged" in the Congress "in the near future", Minister of State for Industries Ashwani Kumar has said the pact was essential for the growth of strategic partnership between the two countries.

Interacting with Indian journalists in Washington, the Minister of State for Industries Ashwini Kumar maintained that the Indo-US relationship has entered a new phase.

"This is a historic moment to cement further Indo-US engagement across a very wide variety of common goals and concerns. To this end, I will be engaging with a large number of people", he said.

"I am confident that the initial legislation will be flagged in the near future. The general sense that I had got during this visit is that there is wide support in principle for the nuclear deal despite certain issues that need to be addressed," Kumar said.

Calling the latest report of the New York based Council on Foreign Relations as a decisive endorsement of the utility of the (nuclear) deal to both sides, Kumar said that India has put all the cards on the table and would want the deal as outlined in the July joint statement.

"Nothing that is inconsistent with the July statement or going beyond the July statement can be accepted by India. The Indian position has been made clear on more than one occasion and the US is fully conscious of the sensitivities in India.

"It is clearly understood that the Indian government will stick to the position that has been endorsed by the Indian Parliament," Kumar said.

First Published: Jun 09, 2006 08:57 IST