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John Kerry to discuss nuke deal with Manmohan

Former Democratic presidential candidate will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a wide array of bilateral matters.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2006 23:11 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

India will get an opportunity to push its campaign for civil nuclear energy cooperation with the US and raise the issue of clandestine proliferation when former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry arrives on Wednesday on a three-day visit.

Kerry, who comes weeks ahead of US President George W Bush, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a wide array of bilateral matters, including the nuclear deal and burgeoning business ties between the two countries.

"The nuclear deal is on top of his agenda for discussions with Indian leaders," diplomatic sources said.

Kerry's positive assessment of India's nuclear energy needs could be influential in procuring bipartisan support for the India-specific legislation the Bush administration plans to introduce in Congress early this year. The legislation will grant full exemption to India from stringent domestic non-proliferation laws.

Kerry, who lost out to Bush in a tightly contested election last year, will also meet National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and discuss strategic and nuclear issues. He is also likely to meet the ruling UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition LK Advani.

He will go to Hyderabad and Mumbai before leaving for Pakistan this weekend.

First Published: Jan 10, 2006 23:11 IST