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Statement by MEA Official Spokesperson

New Delhi
January 26, 2006

Foreign Secretary called in the US Ambassador this afternoon to convey to him that the remarks made by him in an interview to the PTI were inappropriate and not conducive to building a strong partnership between our two independent democracies. Foreign Secretary informed the Ambassador that India’s vote on any possible resolution on the Iran nuclear issue at the IAEA would be determined by India’s own judgement of the merits of the case. Concerning the proposed India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement, the Foreign Secretary reaffirmed India’s stand that both countries needed to work in the spirit of the 18 July 2005 Joint Statement and in strict conformity with the reciprocal commitments contained therein.

The Ambassador expressed his sincere regrets, saying that his remarks had been taken out of context. It was not at all his intention to question India’s right to take decisions on various issues on the basis of its own national interests. 

The Foreign Secretary and the Ambassador agreed that the two sides would work closely together for a successful visit by President Bush to India.