Nuke deal unlikely by Bush?s visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Nuke deal unlikely by Bush?s visit

Though India and the US are close to agreement on the nuke deal, it may not be sealed before President George W. Bush's visit in early March. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns on Friday said: "We're very close to an agreement".

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 01:36 IST

Though India and the US are close to agreement on the nuke deal, it may not be sealed before President George W. Bush's visit in early March.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns on Friday said: "We're very close to an agreement".

Then the caveat. "Oftentimes in negotiations, when you get to the end, some of the most difficult issues arise...There are a few issues. I shouldn't go into them because they should remain confidential, but they remain barriers to an agreement. I don't believe they're insuperable."

Burns said it was hard to say whether the deal would be in place by the time of Bush's visit. On the separation of civilian and military nuclear facilities, seen as the principal hitch, Burns said the Indian plan should be “ambitious enough” to meet the test of US Congress and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Burns also sought to defuse the row created over Ambassador David Mulford's remarks this week, by saying the US would never interfere in India's right to decide on the Iran nuclear issue in its national interest. “We respect India's sovereignty,” he said.