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Nuclear deal: US says too early to close the book

The continuing uncertainty over fate of the nuclear deal fails to disappoint the Bush administration, says an aide.
PTI | By Sridhar Krishnaswami, Washington
UPDATED ON OCT 23, 2007 05:36 PM IST

Amid continuing uncertainty over fate of the Indo-US nuclear deal, the US has said it is "too early" to express disappointment and held out hopes that the two sides "can get it done".

White House spokesperson Tony Fratto said the Bush administration remained committed to the civil nuclear agreement despite signs that the Manmohan Singh government may balk due to opposition at home from Left parties.

"We don't believe we can close the book on that yet. I think there's still some work to do. We want to work with India," he said.

Fratto said the US understands that the Indian government has to "deal with their local politics, just like we frequently have to deal with our local politics in dealing with these kinds of issues".

"So we want to stay encouraged. We want to continue to dialogue with Indian authorities," he said.

The spokesman said he did not know what exactly transpired between US President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during their recent phone conversation on the nuclear issue.

"But I can assure you that the President (Bush) would have reiterated our commitment to that agreement and our interest in having it accomplished," he added.

Asked if Bush was disappointed with the possibility of the Indian side not going ahead with the deal, the White House official replied, "I think it's too early to express disappointment. I think we have some work to do and I think we can get it done".

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