Weeks ahead of Bush’s scheduled visit to India, John Kerry met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss “the ongoing bilateral talks on civilian nuclear cooperation among various facets of bilateral relations.”
The two leaders are also believed to have shared views on various regional and international issues of mutual concern, official sources said.
The regional issues included those related to Pakistan, Afganistan, Nepal and Iran, they said.
(John Kerry talks to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh)
Kerry’s visit, “assumes significance as it takes place as the Bush Administration is preparing to approach the American Congress for ratification of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Washington visit” in July of last year.
Outlook India reports that “Kerry has been a votary of stronger Indo-US relations” and during his 2004 Presidential campaign he “had emphasised the need for making “genuine improvement” in Next Step in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) besides the whole range of economic and technological issues.”
Kerry’s visit to India is considered to be “a positive pointer to the Indo-US nuclear deal.”
It is believed that in spite of opposition and unanswered questions vis-à-vis the agreement, both governments are making slow and steady progress in implementing the deal. Attempts are being made by both sides to clinch the deal before President George Bush visits India in February.
Meanwhile Indian news sources report today also, protestors in India are already gearing up for demonstrations against Bush when he visits India next month.