Special Correspondent

New Delhi: With barely days to go before the next round of talks between India and the United States on their proposed nuclear cooperation agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush spoke to each other on the phone on Wednesday to emphasise their commitment to strong bilateral relations.

According to the Prime Minister’s media adviser, Sanjaya Baru, the two leaders “expressed satisfaction at the strong India-U.S. bilateral relationship and spoke about the discussions between the National Security Advisers of both countries, scheduled for next week.”

Both leaders expressed their confidence that these discussions would further strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Talks to continue

Dr. Baru said the Prime Minister and the U.S. President said they looked forward to continuing their discussions at their next meeting, a date for which has yet to be set.

Though the U.S. President earlier invited Dr. Singh to visit his ranch at Crawford, Texas, some time in August, Indian officials said it would be difficult for the Prime Minister to travel to the U.S. before September, when the U.N. General Assembly is held.

National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and his U.S. counterpart, Stephen Hadley, are expected to try and give a push to the stalled negotiations over the nuclear cooperation agreement — or 123 agreement.

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