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US confident of N-deal with India

The deal requires India to separate its nuclear programme into military and civilian components.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 10:47 IST

The United States said on Monday it was confident of reaching a nuclear cooperation deal with India eventually, even if such an agreement is not finalised during US President George W Bush's visit.

"We've made some progress. The negotiations are ongoing. Whether it gets done during the trip or not, we will see. But we believe it will get done," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

Bush leaves late February 28 on his maiden trip to India and Pakistan, hopeful of finalising an agreement with New Delhi to bolster bilateral cooperation on civilian nuclear energy.

The deal requires India to separate its nuclear programme into military and civilian components with the latter under international inspection.

In exchange for safeguards, the United States would work to change domestic and international laws so that India would be allowed to buy civilian nuclear technology.

"This will not only address energy needs for India, but it will also address important proliferation issues, as well," said McClellan.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 23:06 IST