New Delhi: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s India visit ended without the Indo-US civil nuclear deal being inked but she hoped that the deal will be a reality soon.
Addressing a press conference after meeting External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi, Rice said US President George W Bush will sign the law on nuclear deal soon.
“The President will sign very soon. This is busy time for the Congress in US. It is a matter of signing the agreement (with India). Let me be clear that the 123 Agreement is done. It is a matter of signing that agreement. I don’t want anyone to think that we have open issues. In fact we don't have open issues. It is administrative matter of signing,” Rice said.
Mukherjee said both countries were satisfied with the constructive talks and added that the process regarding the nuclear deal has been completed.
“We have completed the processes. After the signing of the nuclear bill by the US, the deal will be signed on mutually agreed date. Civil nuclear deal is its last lap and we are looking forward to signing the deal,” Mukherjee said.
Rice also said the US will keep its commitments both to the 123 Agreement and the Hyde Act while implementing the nuclear deal with India and added that Hyde Act was consistent with the 123 Agreement.
Technically, India does not necessary need to wait for President Bush to sign the bill into law- before inking the 123. But Pranab Mukherjee made India's position clear.
"After the signing of the President, then the process will be complete and after that we'll be in a position to sign it. Mutually convenient date of signing the agreement will be determined and I hope it'll be signed shortly," the External Affairs Minister says.