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Document disclosure is routine, says former ambassador Blackwill

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September 04, 2008 18:13 IST

Former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill  described as "routine" communication, the disclosures that Washington could terminate the Indo-US atomic deal if New Delhi conducts a nuclear test in the future.

Downplaying contents of a 26-page document released by Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Blackwill said, "It as such was a communication between one branch of the US Government to another and has no political ramifications for any other country. This is routine. It doesn't have anything to do with any force or impact outside the relationship between the executive and the government in the United States." Blackwill said at a conference on Indo-US relations.

Asserting that in the United States there was an across the board support for strong Indo-US relations, he said, "the adminstration, led by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, has done everything in its power diplomatically to ensure that the deal gets NSG clearance".

Blackwill, however, added whatever be the results at the final NSG meeting, the relationship between India and the United States would not be affected. "If the two countries do not succeed in getting the deal through, it would be unfortunate and the United States should insist on a two-thirds majority in the future," Blackwill said.

According to the former US Ambassador, the biggest issue would be the vote at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). "The worst scenario would be if the consensus which is evolved by the United States and other countries goes against India," he said.

He further added that the only caveat in US-India relations was the "Indian communist party's objections". "But I think in both the cases the news would be good and the relationship would go on," Blackwill added. In controversial disclosures on the eve of the meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the US has made it clear on Wednesday that it will stop fuel supplies and other nuclear cooperation if India conducts a nuclear test.

The US position, which appears at variance with New Delhi's interpretation of some key clauses of the Indo-US nuclear deal, was made public just before the two-day meeting of the 45-nation NSG in Vienna which will consider a waiver that will enable India do nuclear commerce.

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