27 July, 2021

A Few Inches Closer

The "process of persuasion and accommodation" carries on

A Few Inches Closer

A veil of secrecy marked the fourth round of talks between emissaries of India and the US. Questions about the August 24 meeting between prime minister A.B. Vajpayee's special envoy Jaswant Singh and US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott received a guarded response from US Administration officials in Washington. While a bland statement from the Indian Embassy in Washington described the talks as "serious, constructive and useful", few details were offered. The statement said there was a "better perception" of their respective positions. And that the two sides discussed "issues of disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as current regional developments and the international situation".

Despite the secrecy, the personal rapport between the two men was clearly discernible. Talbot, informal in a straw hat, personally picked up Singh from the Watergate Hotel in his Mercedes convertible and drove him home, where Mrs Talbott served up a private dinner.

Both sides have agreed to meet again in the...

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