Shiv S. Mukherjee
Minister (Press, Information & Culture)
Embassy of India
May 18, 1998
|We have noted statements of senior US Administration officials that
they have been “seriously misled” by Indian interlocutors. We completely
disagree with this characterisation of the discussions between the two
countries. India has refrained from commenting so far, keeping in
mind the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges. It has, however, now
become necessary to refute this allegation.
We have welcomed the broader interaction with the US over the last several months. During these discussions we have conveyed our readiness to work with the US government to deepen and broaden our mutually beneficial relations. We explained the rationale of our defence and nuclear related policies and hoped for better US government appreciation of our concerns.
We have always maintained that India’s nuclear option is open and that decisions on these matters will be taken in the light of our security perceptions in the region and actions at the international level.
In the twenty or more meetings referred to by US Spokesman, India never gave any assurances or guarantees. On the contrary, it was clearly pointed out that no assurances can be given.