‘US not frustrated on delay in Indo-US N-deal’

The US has said it is not frustrated on the delay in the implementation of the civilian nuclear deal with India.

Updated: May 30, 2010, 00:50 AM IST

Washington: The US has said it is not
frustrated on the delay in the implementation of the civilian
nuclear deal with India in terms of the passage of the nuclear
liability bill in that country as it understands that such
things move at its own pace in a democracy.

"We are not frustrated. We trust Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh`s judgment on this (nuclear liability bill).

Our main interest is in making sure that the
legislation that is passed is compliant with the Convention on
Supplementary Compensation, which is the international
standard for such legislation," Assistant Secretary of State
for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said.

Blake asserted he does not think that the passage of
the civilian nuclear deal is taking long.

"India is a democracy and, like our own democracy,
they have to work a bill through -- first through their own
cabinet system and then they have get a consensus within their
own parliamentary system on this very, very important bill,"
he said.

"It has some political resonance in India because of
the Bhopal disaster. So people obviously look at this very
closely and they should. It deserves that kind of scrutiny,"
Blake said, coming out in strong defence of the political
process in India related to the bill.

"I think the Prime Minister addressed this very
forthrightly himself in his recent press conference in which
he said that the passage of this legislation is a priority for
the Indian Government.

And it`s a priority because it`s going to help the
United States and other countries to deliver nuclear
technology that will help meet the needs, the energy needs, of
India`s fast-growing economy," he said.

"It will also help us because we`ll be able to
substantially increase our exports, but also provide much
needed new jobs in the United States," he said, adding that he
sees this as a win-win for both the countries.

"We are now following very closely the nuclear
liability legislation that the Indian Government has
introduced into the Indian parliament.

We hope that will be consistent with the Convention on
Supplementary Compensation. And if so, and if passed, it would
provide a very important legal protection and open the way for
billions of dollars in American reactor exports and thousands
of jobs," he said at a news conference here.

Blake also highlighted the unprecedented
counter-terrorism cooperation that is taking place between the
two countries.

"This is a relatively recent phenomenon. We`ve raised
counter-terrorism cooperation by focusing on law enforcement
cooperation and intelligence sharing between our two
governments because of the increasingly common threats that we
face, particularly those in India faced by Lashkar-e-Taiba and
other groups.

I think we`ve had very close cooperation, and we look
forward to doing even more in that area," he said.