I met yesterday with Alan Larson's staff at State to bring them up to date on where we are and urge further efforts by State Dept to get the Prime Minkister's office to engage in meaningful negotiations on Dabhol. State at this point remains fully sympathetic to the position we are in and recognizes that a closer U.S.-Indian relationship long term must be built on a sound commercial relationship, which cannot exist so long as Dabhol remains unaddressed and unresolved. To that end their word is that the commercial dialogue continues and continues as a priority. Larson, Undersecretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, has been appointed USG Coordinator of the bilateral commercial relationship and a trip planned in November to go to India remains on at the behest of the Ambassador. This could certainly change with the Afghan situation but this is the situation as of now.
The Ambassador is a critical player for us in terms of his daily interaction with Mishra and other senior Indian govt. officals. We need to keep him up to speed and view him as a critical resource to pressure the PMO. Particularly at this juncture, when India is working hard to make sure they are perceived by the USG to be at least as supportive as Pakistan to the US, a word from the Ambassador to the PM to get Dabhol off the table would be jolting. I would encourage Wade to try to meet with him and send the message that he has to step up the pressure to get the Indian side to seriously negotiate. thanks John