We can move forward with both Hyde Act and 123 in a consistent manner: Boucher; India concludes India-specific safeguards agreement; Meeting of UPA-Left committee to be held soon; No early elections: Pranab
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  • US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher during a recent visit to New Delhi said that the Hyde Act will have to be considered while operationalising the civilian nuclear agreement with India but indicated that it is unlikely that the legislation would impinge on the agreement. He said, “The Hyde Act is a domestic legislation and the 123 Agreement is an international agreement. I think we can move forward with both in a consistent manner.” The statement assumes significance in the light of the recent statement made by the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to the US House Foreign Affairs panel last month that “we will support nothing with India that is in contradiction to the Hyde Act. It will have to be completely consistent with the obligations of the Hyde Act. We’ll have to be consistent with the Hyde Act or I don’t believe we can count on Congress to make the next step1.”

    In other developments, Indian External Affairs Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee stated that India has concluded negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency for safeguards agreement and the UPA-Left committee meeting will be held soon to decide the future course of action2.

    The Manmohan Singh government has decided to convene a meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal in light of the recent completion of India-specific safeguards agreement at the IAEA. This came after a demand by the Left parties for such a meeting to discuss the India-specific safeguards agreement3. It is expected that the meeting will take place before Parliament goes into recess on March 20, 2008.

    In other news, Shri Panab Mukherjee dismissed any possibility of early elections. In light of the highly populist budget, speculation was rife that the Congress was preparing for early elections4.