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Congress says it is committed to deal

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday said that it was committed to take forward the India-U.S. nuclear deal and would try to take on board “all sections” on it.

The party dismissed suggestions of any connection between the nuclear agreement and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Japan for the G-8 meeting.

“Going to the G-8 meeting is an international commitment of the government. It has no connection with the nuclear deal. It is not on the agenda of the meeting and it would be wrong to link the two,” said party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan here.

Rejecting the charge of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was not following an independent foreign policy, Ms. Natarajan said country’s independent foreign policy was formulated and conceived by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

The party had fought for independence unlike several other parties and had the “proud legacy, experience and expertise” of formulating an independent foreign policy. The Congress governments had contributed to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and opposed the signing of CTBT and NTP.

“We reject any suggestion that the Prime Minister and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, were not following an independent foreign policy as suggested in some quarters. We do not require any certificate on this,” she added.

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