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Don't peg ties on N-deal, says Clinton

The former US Prez said, "It should not be the lynchpin of this relationship."

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 03:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

On a visit to India, former US President Bill Clinton warned against pegging the ties between the two countries on the nuclear deal alone.

In an interview to the CNN-IBN channel, Clinton said, "It should not be the lynchpin of this relationship. It is too big, too important for the world. So, you know, if it (the deal) gets worked out fine before the President's visit, if it doesn't, it will work out sooner or later." The statement comes ahead of US President George W. Bush's India visit and amid doubts over the nuclear deal. Bush's visit, Clinton said, was important and should be seen "as a very positive thing" that will broaden Indo-US friendship.

Clinton also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday. Singh hosted a lunch in honour of Clinton, who is here in connection with the wedding of Vikram Chatwal, son of New York-based hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal. Clinton drove down to 10, Janpath for the meeting with Sonia. No details were available on his discussion with the PM and the Congress chief.

Clinton appreciated the Centre's "aggressive" approach to counter HIV/AIDS in the country though he rued that there was still stigma attached to the disease.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 01:03 IST