Thursday, January 19, 2006

US, India hold nuclear talks

India and the US are holding talks on their recent nuclear deal:

Seeking to implement the landmark nuclear deal ahead of American President George W Bush's visit here expected in March, India and the US today held talks on the roadmap for completing the process.

Meeting nearly after a month of their last parleys, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran held a restricted meeting with US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns here which was followed by a delegation-level meeting, official sources said.

The officials, on the first of the two-day parleys, are understood to have discussed how to proceed on implementation of the civilian nuclear cooperation deal under which the US will lift sanctions on dual-use technology trade with India.

India, required to separate the civilian and military nuclear establishments, has already presented its plan in this regard to the US in December and Washington is understood to have forwarded its response at today's meeting.

Saran and Burns are believed to have also discussed Iran's nuclear issue and upcoming visit of Bush tentatively to take place by March.

Ahead of his meeting with Saran, Burns said the two countries had "ventured into a unique international diplomacy in our bilateral atomic relations."

He had said in Mumbai yesterday that India and the US were committed to trying and achieve civil nuclear agreement between the two countries."

According to him, it would take around six to eight months to "decide on how best to proceed".

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