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India, US Fail to Reach Agreement on Civilian Nuclear Deal

  • VOA News

US and Indian officials have failed to reach an agreement on a landmark civilian nuclear deal that would end three decades of U.S. sanctions on nuclear trade with India.

US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and India's Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon concluded three days of negotiations in New Delhi on Saturday. Burns also met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an attempt to finalize a deal.

After the talks, Menon told reporters that India wants to reach an agreement soon. The US embassy issued a statement calling the negotiations "productive."

Both sides said they are hopeful that a deal can still be reached, but they did not specify what disputes must be settled.

If the deal is finalized, the US would ship nuclear fuel and technology to India. In return, India would accept UN inspections of its 14 civilian nuclear plants.


The South Asian nation is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

India has objected to proposed U.S. restrictions on its ability to reprocess spent nuclear fuel. Reprocessing is a key step in making weapons-grade nuclear material.

India also has objected to a clause that allows the U.S. to stop nuclear cooperation if New Delhi conducts another nuclear test.

A preliminary agreement was signed during President Bush's visit to India in 2006 and later approved by the US.Congress.

Mr. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are expected to meet in Germany on the sidelines of a G-8 summit.

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