US optimistic on reaching nuclear deal with India

Senior US officials are hopeful that talks with Indian counterparts Wednesday can salvage a nuclear cooperation deal. President George W. Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley will try to conclude an agreement with Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan. Following an earlier meeting between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian officials, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said that a deal was within reach Wednesday. "We believe with the commitment from both sides that we can bridge the differences," he said. The countries still must settle technical negotiations on an overall cooperation plan. One major sticking points has been US reluctance to allow India to reprocess spent atomic fuel, a crucial step in making weapons-grade nuclear material.