M A I N   N E W S

Bush praises PM for his leadership

Toyako (Japan), July 9
Even as the government battled with the political fallout of the nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today discussed the progress on the agreement with US President George W. Bush, who praised him for his “leadership at home”. “It was a really good meeting amongst two friends. And so, Mr Prime Minister, thank you for joining us today, and congratulations on your leadership at home,” Bush said during an extended 50-minute meeting, which took place hours before the Left parties formally withdrew support to the UPA government in New Delhi.

The two leaders spoke in unison on strengthening the bilateral “strategic relationship” after Manmohan drove more than 100 km from Sapporo at dawn to meet Bush at Hotel Windsor on the picturesque Mt Poromoi in Japan’s Hokkaido island, where the G-8 leaders are meeting for their annual summit.

The body language of the two leaders, the warm handshake they exchanged and highly appreciative words they used for each other clearly reflected the commitment both sides had in seeing the nuclear deal go through fast, given the time constraints.

“We talked about the nuclear deal- how important that is for our respective countries,” was all Bush said in a clear reference to the agreement the two leaders had reached on the civilian nuclear agreement in July 2005.

Bush described the meeting “as a conversation among friends” and added, “I respect the Prime Minister a lot. I also respect India a lot. I think it is very important that the United States continues to work with our friend to develop not only a new strategic partnership, but a relationship that addresses some of the world’s problems.”

At the joint press meet with Bush, the Prime Minister spoke of the progress made between the two countries in several areas, including nuclear, defence, space and education.Reciprocating the US President’s compliments, Manmohan praised Bush’s “magnificent” contribution to the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

“Our relationship has never been in such a good shape as it is today.... It is the intention of my government, as I believe it is also the will of the Indian people, particularly the thinking segments of the people, that in this increasingly interdependent world that we live in whether it is the question of climate change or managing the global economy, India and the US must work together shoulder to shoulder, and that is what is going to happen”. — PTI


‘N-deal may not get through current Cong session’

Washington, July 9
Despite the UPA government vowing to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal undeterred by its political fallout, the landmark accord may still not get through the current session of Congress here, leaving the door open for India to pursue atomic trade with other countries, a media report said today.

The key enabling legislation passed in 2006, the Hyde Act, has a requirement that Congress should be in a continuous session for 30 days to consider the final package from the Bush administration; and Congressional aides have maintained that the clock will begin to tick only when New Delhi gets through the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, ‘The Washington Post’ reported.

What is being pointed out is that because of the August recess, less than 40 days are left of the session before Congress adjourns on September 26. — PTI



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