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'N-deal an exception for a unique India'

Key negotiator Nicholas Burns says the US is not going to offer any other country a deal like the one with India.

world Updated: Jul 28, 2007 13:50 IST

The United States is not going to offer any other country a civil nuclear deal like the one with New Delhi as it looks at India as an "exception" with a "unique" history.

"This is complicated enough. I can assure you, that the United States is not going to suggest a similar deal with any other country in the world. We've always felt of India as an exception," key US negotiator R. Nicholas Burns told reporters on Friday.

The US, he said, made the argument that India has not proliferated its nuclear technology; that India, in effect, outside the system, has played by the rules and that the system would be strengthened by bringing it in.

"But we're not anticipating, in any way, shape or form, a similar deal for any other country," added Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs.

"It is also important for the 45 countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to be assured that we're all going to be make, on an international basis, an exception for India, but it won't be a precedent to bring other countries in under the same basis," he said.

This, said Burns, was so "because India is unique in its history of its civil nuclear programme, and we think that we're going to strengthen the NSG by having the international community take the same decisions that the United States has taken in leading this initiative.

"I don't think there's any other country out there who's not in the NSG who could be brought into the NSG at this point and given the type of treatment that we hope India will be given."

Asked about the deal's impact on South Asia, Burns said the deal in fact was a culmination of a policy change effected in 2005 to "dehyphenate our relationship with India-Pakistan."