US hopes India not close to rejecting nuclear deal
Harping on a year-end deadline for the nuclear deal with India, the US has said it will be good to get it voted in the Congress by coming January.
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns also expressed the hope that the deal was not "dead" in India but only postponed.
"One message that the US is articulating very clearly to India was that this is an opportunity that doesn't come around often. They ought to take that opportunity," he said.
"We don't have (it) forever. The reality of our politics is that Congress made a huge effort to pass the necessary law in the United States. The Congress has to have one more vote that has to be taken. We certainly don't want to go too deep in 2008," he told National Public Radio.
When asked if January is important because otherwise in an election year not much would get done, Burns said it would be a smart move to get the deal back to the Congress when they have time to look at it.
"I think the reality is that an agreement like this, which has been controversial in our country but which has current Congressional support, it is smart to get it back to the Congress in a time when they will have the time to look at it and not to get it too deep into our election year," he said.
Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in the US in November next year.
Asked whether it was frustrating as India seems close to rejecting the deal, Burns said "we hope they are not close to rejecting it. We don't think the deal is dead, but the deal has been postponed".