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PM happy over US house nod to nuke deal

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September 28, 2008 18:58 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed happiness that the Indo-US nuclear deal crossed another hurdle following its approval by the US House of Representatives but said he would wait for the "final outcome" before the accord could be toasted.
With the US Senate yet to give its clearance to the 123 Agreement, Singh said the House approval was not the end of the legislative process.
"I am happy that one hurdle has been crossed but I think that is not the end of the legislative process. So we will wait for the final outcome," the prime minister told reporters accompanying him on his trip to France at the end of his five-day US visit.
The House approval on Saturday brought the historic accord one step closer to President George W Bush's signature.
Though the landmark 123 Agreement was cleared by the House, it must be adopted by the Senate which could be considering amendments.
Shortly after the news of the House approval broke in New York on Saturday while Singh was addressing the Indian community members at a reception there at the end of his US visit, the prime minister said the deal was in the interest of India, the US and the world at large.
National Security Advisor M K Narayanan welcomed the adoption of the deal by the House saying it was a matter of great satisfaction. He expressed the hope that the Bill would get cleared in the Senate sooner than later rather than wait for the next session.
Hailing the House action, Indian Ambassador to US Ronen Sen said it would now be the last lap of a historic step for both the countries.
Narayanan said he felt there is bipartisan understanding on all matters relating to India including on the civil nuclear deal.
"We are as transparent as any country and we have made it very clear where we stand...If there is universal and global nuclear disarmament, we stand for it.But otherwise anything selective, we are not prepared for it and that position has been made very clear," the National Security Adviser said.
Referring to the voluntary moratorium on testing made by India, Narayanan said that "we maintain that unless the situation deteriorates to such an extent that it becomes necessary. I don't think that is ever going to arise".
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