M A I N   N E W S

PM-Bush meeting
Hopes soar for civil nuke deal
T.R Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

Heiligendamm (Germany), June 8
Despite the irritants, India and the USA are committed to get the Indo-US peaceful nuclear deal and the stalled 123 Agreement through. The nuclear issue figured briefly when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met US President George Bush at a pull aside interface during the Outreach five session with the G-8 summiteers during the day, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told mediapersons here tonight.

Menon stressed that the agreement is “doable. After we broke up in New Delhi earlier this month, both sides are reviewing the situation and will see how to take it forward.”

After Dr Singh’s meeting with Bush lasting about 10 minutes, National Security Adviser M.K Narayanan had a meeting with his American counterpart Stephen Hadley where they are believed to gone through the sticking points.These pertain to the reprocessing of spent fuel, voluntary moratorium and not a cap on future testing and ensuring fuel supply in perpetuity unlike the Tarapur episode.

On his part, the Prime Minister has told Parliament that there will be no deviation or compromises from the agreement reached between him and Bush in July 2005 and March last year.

After this afternoon's Singh-Bush parleys covering the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including the nuclear issue, there appears to be positive movement in taking the 123 Agreement to its logical conclusion. It was indicative that Bush might be taking up the matter again with the Congress in a bid to get it through without hurting the national interests of the two countries. Any reservations in this regard appear to have been relegated to the background for now.

Dr Singh also met outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, took a walk with Russian President Vladimir Putin who in 2005 as the President of the G-8 enlarged the discussions with the industrialised and rich countries to include the developing and emerging economies. Dr Singh also interacted with the new French President Nicolas Sarkozi.

Even as the Prime Minister set the tone for the debate on climate change, global economy and the Doha Round of Negotiations, the O5 comprising India, Brazil, China, Mexico and South Africa put together a joint position paper emphasising that development is a right central to peoples’ progress and critical to the eradication of poverty, fostering peace, stability and security of all nations. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) constitute an internationally agreed benchmark to measure efforts in advancing sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The Paper dwelt on global governance being more democratic, representative and legitimate by making the participation of developing countries in the decision making bodies of multilateral institutions, strengthening democratic governance to combat corruption in all forms and in all countries, strengthening the international community to fight terrorism which cannot be justified on any ground and building a truly global partnership for development.

The Paper also touched upon global trade being relevant to fostering economic development and fighting poverty, undertaking a new holistic and long term framework for international migration, giving immediate and real effect to commitments on international cooperation in fighting climate change especially in technology transfer, capacity building and development of the carbon market.

The O5 reaffirmed its role in South-South cooperation in the context of multilateralism which they insisted was complementary to and not a substitute for North-South Cooperation.

The joint statement issued by the German G-8 Presidency and the O5 at the summit today committed to cooperate in promoting Cross Border Investment for mutual benefit, giving an impetus to promoting research and innovation, fighting the challenges in tackling climate change, recognising the need to ensure secure and affordable supplies of energy coupled with improving energy efficiency and access to advanced and affordable energy technologies, reiterating commitment to the MDGs, sustaining global development and eradicating poverty.



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