'Democrats will not hinder N-deal passage'

Updated on Sep 14, 2008 01:12 PM IST

Senator Hillary Clinton had discussions with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on support for the civilian nuclear agreement.

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IANS | By, New York

Senator Hillary Clinton has said the Democrats will not hinder the passage of the India-US civil nuclear agreement through the US Congress.

The former first lady, who unsuccessfully vied for Democratic party's nomination for president, had discussions with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on support for the deal which President Bush has brought before the Congress. Amar Singh expressed confidence that the civil nuclear agreement will get the crucial nod from US Congress this month.

"With Republicans already on board, there is no reason that the 123 agreement with India would not go through this month," Amar Singh was quoted as telling his local interlocutors.

Democrats' support is crucial as they control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Singh also said that US firms would not be put on disadvantage when India orders equipment following the operationalisation of the agreement.

The Samajwadi Party's support played a crucial role in saving the Congress-led government when it was deserted by the Left parties over the nuclear deal. After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won the confidence vote in parliament July 22, the Indian government approached the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for its approval to the India-specific safeguards agreement followed by a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group for New Delhi to conduct global nuclear trade despite it being a non-signatory to global nonproliferation regimes.

Hotelier Sant Chatwal, who is close to the Clintons and met Amar Singh, said he had positive feelings for the deal during his meetings with several high ranking Democratic lawmakers.

"We are working day and night to ensure that the deal goes through before the Congress adjourns on September 26 as it is in the interest of both countries," he was quoted as saying.

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