San Diego, California: September 18, 2008 – IR Summary/Agencies - It is a crucial stage for Indo-US Deal for Congressional hearing, President Bush wants the deal be cleared within time and to accelerate the process, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has briefed a high-level Indian delegation here that every effort is being made to secure the earliest approval on time.
Condoleezza also indicated that she would be visiting Capital Hill to accelerate the process by all available means and she has no doubt in her mind and assured them that the deal would get its clearance on time.
The Indian delegation that she gave her mind includes visiting MPs led by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi who are there to watch the progress of the deal. Both sides seem to be satisfied with the progress being initiated to get the approval.
The move assumes significance as Rice is visiting Capitol Hill for a meeting with lawmakers who could play a key role in clearing the deal, just ahead of a major hearing on the issue in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later today, as per PTI input.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has not scheduled a hearing and senior aides in the House have pointed out that while hearings are educational they are not mandatory but purely optional.
Still, there is no word from the Chairman of the House Panel, California Democrat Howard Berman who is a known sceptic of the nuclear deal on non-proliferation grounds.
During the meeting with Ravi, Rice expressed happiness at the present state of the depth and width of the bilateral ties, while the Indian Minister is said to have voiced satisfaction over the “right direction” of relations. PTI