Still time to say no or never to N-deal: US
With the UPA Govt refusing to give any timeframe for the deal, the US says it has more months to work on it.world Updated: Mar 26, 2008 16:14 IST
With the Indian government refusing to give any timeframe for finalising the civil nuclear deal, the United States has said there was still some more time before it can say "now or never" on the agreement.
"... We have a little bit of time before we have to say now or never. We've got several months to continue to work with them. And actually that deal is supported by bipartisan members on Capitol Hill, as well, so they're helping to move this along," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said on Tuesday.
External Affair Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who met President George W Bush at the White House and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice here Monday, said UPA government is "interested" in pursuing the Indo-US civil nuclear deal and that it was aware of the July timeline suggested by members of the US Congress.
He, however, stresed that the government will not move forward on the deal untill there is political consenus. According to US officials, the deal should clear Congress by July as it will take its recess in August and many lawmakers will be busy campaigning for the November elections after that.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the main issue now "is the Indian government working its domestic politics."
"I think as that you get further and further into the Congressional calendar, I think it's fair to say it's more and more difficult just because of the political realities of the press of business," he said. Mukherjee left Washington to New York yesterday afternoon while on his way back to India.