Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Manmohan Singh says nuke deal on ice

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told U.S. President George W. Bush that he may have to renege on a nuclear deal between the two countries.

Allied parties on the left of the political spectrum have opposed the deal saying it compromised India's own scientific research and independent foreign policy.

The prime minister "explained to President Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalization of the India-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreement," said an official statement released last night.

U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, the latter a unit of Toshiba of Japan, were to help India establish 40,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020.

The deal was set to be the first nuclear cooperation between the two countries since India tested nuclear weapons decades ago. For its part the U.S. would recognize that India operates its nuclear program outside of the constraints of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

George W. Bush shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two are having trouble closing a nuclear power deal. AFP/File/Raveendran photo.