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'Civilian N-deal possible during Bush visit'

Scott McClellan said the relationship between India and US is much broader than the civilian nuke deal.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 10:44 IST

The United States has said it is quite possible that the civilian nuclear energy agreement with India could be worked out during President George W Bush's visit beginning on Wednesday.

"There has been some progress that has been made in those negotiations. Whether or not it gets done during the trip -- before the trip or during the trip, we will have to see. But we believe it will get done. It's an important agreement, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters on Monday.

"But these are complex issues that we are dealing with here, and they have been ongoing for some time, these negotiations. And we'll see where they lead," he added.

McClellan said the relationship between India and United States is much broader than the civilian nuclear deal.

"...I'm not going to try to negotiate from this podium...Our relationship with India is much broader than the civilian nuclear programme that we are talking about," he said.

"And we have worked to strengthen that relationship. India is a strategic partner, and we work together on a number of issues across the board, whether it's the war on terrorism or expanding economic opportunity and prosperity, or other issues", the spokesman said.

The White House has reiterated that Kashmir is something to be sorted out between India and Pakistan.

"... That's been our view, and -- that the dialogue ought to be occurring between India and Pakistan. There's been some improvement in that dialogue, and we want a solution that represents the interests of all sides...," he said.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 10:44 IST