With conditions cropping up in the Congressional legislation on the Indo-US nuclear deal and in Administration's views, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought an agreement that will satisfy India, a plea that was strongly reciprocated by President George W Bush.
The two leaders, who met for the last time during Bush's Presidency, put behind their disappointment last night over not being able to ink the agreement they had reached three years ago and praised each other's leadership in bringing about a strong strategic relationship between the two countries.
'One such sign of that leadership is the India-US civil nuclear arrangement. This has taken a lot of work on both our parts, a lot of courage on your part.
And of course, we want the agreement to satisfy you and get out of our Congress. So we are working hard to get it passed as quickly as possible," Bush said in his remarks at the end on an hour-long meeting.
Singh responded warmly, saying, "I sincerely hope that the settlement which is now before the US Congress will be approved in a manner which will be satisfactory from the point of view of both of our countries."
He went the extra distance to praise Bush saying, "And when history is written, I think it will be recorded that President George W Bush made an historic goal in bringing our two democracies closer to each other."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved overwhelmingly a legislation on the deal which has a provision that all nuclear cooperation with India will cease in case of a nuclear test by New Delhi. The provision was also included in the bill moved by Congressman Howard Berman in the House of Representatives yesterday.
The Indian side is also not happy with the wording of the legislation.
The Prime Minister also did not miss the opportunity to bring to his host's notice that he was mentioning the civil nuclear initiative because for 34 years India has suffered from a nuclear apartheid.
"We have not been able to trade in nuclear material, nuclear reactors and nuclear raw materials. And when this restrictive regime ends, a great deal of credit will go to President Bush. And for this I am very grateful to you Mr President," he said.