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123 deal: India wants reaffirmation

Washington, November 22
Ahead of his meeting with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India has no worries about US honouring the Indo-US nuclear deal, but would like to get a “positive reaffirmation” of the present administration to carry forward the process.

Singh, who will arrive in Washington on a three-day state visit late tonight, said India would like to operationalise the “watershed” agreement and ensure that the objectives for the nuclear deal are realised in full merit.

“We have no worries, but we would like a positive reaffirmation of this administration to carry forward the process,” Singh said in an interview to NewsWeek magazine, full transcript of which was released by the Ministry of External Affairs on its website.

He was asked whether he was concerned about the US honouring the consent agreement. Singh said the partnership with US was for sustained and sustainable development of India and the new global world order which is in search of a new equilibrium.

“India and the United States could be partners in refocusing our attention on an equitable, balanced, global order,” Singh, who will meet Obama on Tuesday, said.

Asked whether India is worried about the Test Ban Treaty which President Obama seems very intent on pushing through the senate, Singh said, “Why should we be worried?. We are not worried at all.” The Prime Minister said India has a unilateral moratorium on testing imposed voluntarily and that it stands by that.

“We would like to work with President Obama to promote the cause of global nuclear disarmament, a world free of nuclear weapons,” Singh said.

“I think that is a world which has been the dream of our leaders from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi. We would like to work with all like-minded countries to achieve that goal,” he said.

Singh also hoped that the US will be “more liberal” in transferring technologies to India and clear the way for implementing the landmark agreement on nuclear cooperation.

“We had a watershed and a landmark agreement with the US on nuclear cooperation. We would like to operationalise it and ensure that the objectives for the nuclear deal are realised in full merit,” he said.

Singh said the restrictions on technology transfers to India “make no sense” since the country has an impeccable record of non-proliferation.

Top Indian and US officials are holding hectic parleys to conclude a deal on reprocessing of spent fuel before the Singh-Obama meeting. — PTI



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