Indian and U.S. officials are fast- tracking their negotiations to conclude a deal on reprocessing of spent fuel, a key step in implementation of the civil nuclear accord, by the time Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.

The implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal was in “the last stretch” and the two sides were trying hard to conclude the negotiations on reprocessing, sources accompanying the Prime Minister to Washington said.

This would be reflected in the joint statement to be issued after Singh-Obama talks at the White House on Tuesday, they said.

Dr. Singh left this morning for Washington on a four-day state visit after a night halt here.

On the Dedicated Reprocessing Facility to be set up by India as per the 123 Agreement, the sources said a team of Indian officials is already in the U.S., ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, to negotiate “one or two remaining issues“.

India will also provide assurance on non-proliferation required by the U.S. Energy Department to give licences under Section 810 to companies for civil nuclear deal with New Delhi.

These two steps, besides enactment of the Civil Nuclear Liabilities legislation by India, have been holding up the implementation of the deal reached last year.

The Liabilities Bill has been cleared by the Cabinet and will be introduced in Parliament soon, the sources said.

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