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Indo-US nuclear agreement on track, says US official

May 15, 2009 09:58 IST

The historic Indo-United States civilian nuclear agreement is on the right track, even as New Delhi has to complete a few formalities in this regard, said a top US diplomat on Thursday.

"It (nuke deal) is going very well, Senator. There are still a couple of steps that the Indians have to take to fully implement that agreement," Ambassador Robert Blake, the Obama nominee for the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said in response to a question at his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 Till recently, Blake was the US ambassador to Sri Lanka. He also served as deputy ambassador at the US Embassy in New Delhi. He told the committee that India has to bring the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement into force.

And India also has to file with the IAEA a declaration of their nuclear facilities, he informed the Senators, who were curious to know the latest status of the historic nuclear deal, which consumed much of the time of the Congress in the last couple of years.

"That would be consistent with the separation plan that they outlined in 2006. So there are still several steps that need to be taken, and we'll be working closely with our friends in the Indian government to see that those are done rapidly," Blake said.

Observing that this is an important part of the relationship between the two countries, the diplomat added, "It's become a bit of a symbol, because it really changed the architecture of the global nonproliferation regime."

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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