. 24/7 Space News .
India rejects US timeline for nuclear deal

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 25, 2008
India said Tuesday it could not commit to any US timeline for finalization of a landmark nuclear deal caught in a deadlock among its ruling coalition partners.

Foreign Minister Pranap Mukherjee said New Delhi needed "more time" to forge an agreement on the deal despite a tight 2008 US legislative calendar ahead of the November presidential polls.

US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed more than two years ago on the deal, in which Washington would provide India with nuclear fuel and technology even though the Asian nation has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the agreement had failed to win the support of the Indian ruling Congress-led coalition's Communist allies, who feared the sovereignty of the nuclear armed nation would be compromised and New Delhi might ally more closely with the United States.

"At this juncture, it is difficult for me to indicate any time frame by which we will be able to complete this process," Mukherjee told a news conference in Washington after talks with President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"We are trying to resolve the issues but it may take some more time."

The Bush administration and the US Congress has warned India about the limited time available for the civil nuclear deal to be approved by the legislature before Bush leaves the White House in January 2009.

Could the deal clear Congress by mid-year?

"I think as that you get further and further into the Congressional calendar, I think it's fair to say it's more and more difficult just because of the political realities of the press of business," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

"The main issue now is the Indian government working its domestic politics," he said.

Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, had said the agreement had to come before the Senate for approval no later than July.

Asked about the time constraints, Mukherjee emphasized that unless the outstanding issues among India's coalition partners were resolved, "it would be difficult for us to (meet) any particular time frame."

The communist parties, who prop up the minority government in parliament, have threatened to withdraw their support of the government and force early elections if Indian leaders move to implement the deal.

The government had defended the pact as critical for providing new fuel sources to keep the energy-hungry nation's economy growing strongly.

Aside from resolving the political problem, India also needs approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to place its civilian nuclear reactors under UN safeguards as part of the atomic deal.

In addition, it also needs the green light from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which regulates global civilian nuclear trade.

Asked whether the Indian coalition was prepared to forgo the government for the sake of the deal, Mukherjee said, "it's not a question of sacrificing either the deal or the government.

"Currently, we are engaged in resolving the issues and try to find a meeting ground between us and a section of our supporters."

The minister also said that Prime Minister Singh's administration would have to continue finding common ground on the nuclear deal to ensure that it was not scrapped by any future governments.

"We shall have to take into acount that even if we sign an important international agreement, if it is subsequently not honored by the next government, it may lead to an embarrasing situation," he said.

"We want to avert that situation and that's why we are making this exercise -- it may be very time consuming and it is taxing our patience but nonetheless we do feel it is worth pursuing," he said.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Civil Nuclear Energy Science, Technology and News
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Turkey invites bids to build first nuclear power plant
Ankara (AFP) March 24, 2008
Turkey's energy minister on Monday invited bids for the construction of country's first nuclear power plant, which is to be built on the Mediterranean coast despite strong opposition from environmentalists.

  • Boomerang works in space: Japanese astronaut
  • ESA Prepares ATV For ISS Docking
  • Korea's first astronaut hopes to make peace with North
  • Sci-fi guru Clarke dies in Sri Lanka

  • Multi-Tasking Rover Helps Pave The Way For Next Mars Mission
  • Sturdy Rover Gets No Penalty For Tilting
  • Mars Salt Deposits Point To New Place In Hunt For Ancient Traces Of Life
  • Salt Deposits May Have Evidence Of Life On Mars

  • Cape Canaveral Airmen Launch Delta II Rocket
  • ProStar GPS Guides Players At Arizona Golf Resort
  • Pratt And Whitney Rocketdyne Rocket Engine Powers Latest GPS Satellite Into Space
  • Russian Proton Rocket Fails To Take Satellite Into Right Orbit

  • New Portrait Of Earth Shows Land Cover As Never Before
  • Brazil, Germany To Develop Night-Vision Radar Satellite
  • NASA Goddard Delivers Aquarius Radiometer To JPL
  • Great Splitting Icebergs

  • New Horizons Crosses 9 AU
  • ASU Research Solves Solar System Quandary
  • Happy Second Birthday New Horizons
  • The PI's Perspective: Autumn 2007: Onward to the Kuiper Belt

  • Action Replay Of Powerful Stellar Explosion
  • Rare Cosmic Rays Are From Far Away
  • Satellite Detects Record Gamma Ray Burst Explosion Halfway Across Universe
  • X-ray Observations Of Postoutburst Nova V5116 Sagittarii

  • NASA Awards Contracts For Design Study Of Lunar Landing Craft
  • NASA prepares for Moonbuggy Race
  • New Lunar South Polar Maps From SMART-1
  • NASA Ames Selected For Return To Moon Team

  • Mio Technology Moovs You With The Launch Of New GPS Line
  • Garmin Navigation Offered In New Kenwood Models
  • NAVIGON Climbs Into Number Four Position In US PND Market
  • PropertyMaps.com Partners With RealtyTrac To Offer Foreclosure Property Information

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement