Rice to visit India

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Oct. 1 – With the nuclear deal poised for an approval by the US Congress, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit India next month to sign the 123 bilateral agreement that will seal the landmark deal.
"We are discussing the possibility of the visit of the Secretary of State to India. We have been trying it for sometime and looking for possibility of dates," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told the Hindustan Times.

"Rice will come to India early next month. If the Congress approves the 123 pact, it will be signed during Rice's visit," an official, privy to nuclear negotiations, confirmed with the IANS.

The India-US 123 pact, the bilateral accord that set terms for nuclear business between the two countries, will be signed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Rice.

The bill introduced on Thursday by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman, like the Senate Committee version, makes the implementing 123 Agreement subject to the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, the Hyde Act and any other applicable US law.

But contrary to the general impression, there is no reference to "testing" except by implication in either bill. India has maintained that it is only bound by the 123 agreement and does not comment on internal political process in another country.