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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

N-deal not to be renegotiated: US

WASHINGTON: The United States has said it does not foresee the negotiations on the civil nuclear accord being re-opened either by it or India, as the 123 Agreement is "done" and "completed" and hoped that the deal would come up for a final voting in the US Congress early next year. "On the 123 Agreement, we finished those negotiations on July 22 this year in Washington. That Agreement is finished, it's done, it's completed, it just stands to be approved finally by both governments. I think with goodwill and hard work, it will be," Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said at a media roundtable in Singapore on Monday. "But I do not foresee it being re-opened, by either side. Not by the United States, and I don't think by India either," the official said. Reaffirming that the deal is in the "best interests" of both the countries, Burns said. "it is part and parcel of a new effort to try to elevate the US-India relationship into a strategic partnership." "We are confident that this deal should go forward; of course, we now need to wait for the Indian government to make a final decision on putting the safeguards agreement forward, but we believe it's in the best interest of both of us that it do so," Burns said. The step which will follow is to convince the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group to act by consensus to support international change, to treat India in a "more fair and effective manner", he said and hoped that the final vote on the deal in the US Congress would come up early next year.

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