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US committed to nuclear deal despite ‘technical issues’

By Arun Kumar


Washington : The United States has declared it is clearly committed to the landmark civil nuclear deal with India despite some delay due to technical issues.

"…Anytime you have an agreement this big and this ambitious, you're going to run into some technical issues that make progress a little more halting than you'd like it to be. But we're still committed to its success," White House spokesman Tony Snow said Thursday.

"I can't give you a sense on the final timing, but the government is clearly committed to it," he said when asked whether the implementing bilateral 123 Agreement would be finalised when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W Bush meet during the G-8 Summit in Germany next week.

"We understand that the civil nuclear agreement not only is important, but it's also a template for dealing with other countries," Snow maintained.

"One of the things we think is important for people to recognize … is you've got nuclear power, which is clean, you don't have greenhouse emissions. It offers an opportunity to give people the prospect of economic growth without the kind of pollution that has caused environmental concern around the globe," he added.

Washington's key negotiator on the nuclear deal, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns is currently in New Delhi for talks with Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to iron out remaining differences on the 123 agreement.