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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 30, 2007
MEA confirms Burns visit to India (Lead:Burns)
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MEA confirms Burns visit to India (Lead:Burns)

The Ministry of External Affairs today confirmed that U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns would pay a three-day official visit to New Delhi from May 31 to June 2.

New Delhi, May 30 : The Ministry of External Affairs today confirmed that U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns would pay a three-day official visit to New Delhi from May 31 to June 2.

A government spokesman said Burns would be in the capital to review bilateral relations and developments of mutual interest with Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon.

He also said that the visit would be used to further discussions on the proposed bilateral civil nuclear co-operation agreement.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department said that Burns visit to New Delhi for discussions on the "123 agreement", was yet to be formally scheduled.

Deputy Spokesman at "Foggy Bottom" Tom Casey said Burns had "spoken about his willingness" to go to India, but that a trip has not been formally scheduled.

When asked if Burns is in India this week possibly on a family trip or vacation, Casey said "Nick, as far as I know, was on the plane with the Secretary (Condoleezza Rice), headed to Berlin for G-8 meetings."

"And as far as I know, while he's spoken about his willingness to go on to India, if it's appropriate, to continue those discussions on India's nuclear deal, I don't believe that he's scheduled a trip there as of yet."

Asked if he is coming back home after the European tour, Casey said "At this point, I certainly know, if there's a reason for him to go later this week or next week, then he will certainly do so. I know, originally, they were hoping to have him go out somewhere in the next couple of weeks. But there's no confirmed travel plans at this point".

But speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the US envoy in New Delhi, David Mulford, said the two countries are nearing a compromise on a landmark civilian-nuclear-energy deal.

Mulford, said he expected that India and the US would surmount most of the major obstacles during two days of talks scheduled to start on Friday in New Delhi acknowledging though that the two sides would have to work through some "deeply political issues".

At the same time he said "We have been very anxious to take the next step.The big stuff has been done.The devil is in the details," Mulford told the paper.

ANI

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