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US plans 'unique' methods to cement nuclear deal

Washington is willing to send its pointsman to New Delhi to help conclude negotiations on nuke separation plan.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 15:50 IST

Washington has said it is willing to send its pointsman Nicholas Burns to New Delhi next week if it could help in concluding negotiations on a separation plan of India's civilian and nuclear facilities.

"We are trying to do something unique that we have not done before," US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia designate Richard Boucher said on Thursday.

Boucher was replying to questions at his Congressional hearing on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

During his visit to New Delhi early next month Bush is expected to review the progress made on implementation of the deal which is yet to be approved by the US Congress.

Reports that US wants India to put its Fast Breeder Reactor programme under IAEA safeguards has triggered a political storm in India, raising question over the future of the deal.

"We have embarked upon building a global strategic partnership with India. President (George W Bush) will be travelling to India in the coming weeks to continue a strong, forward looking relationship with this rising global power," Boucher said in prepared remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his confirmation hearing.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 13:18 IST