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|September 26, 1998||
Senators appeal for flexible sanctions laws
C K Arora in Washington
Some 22 law-makers, led by Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, have pleaded for flexibility with regard to lifting sanctions against India and Pakistan, following the statements by their prime ministers, expressing willingness to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
In a joint letter, they called upon a key congressional panel to support a measure, authorising President Bill Clinton to waive the sanctions imposed on India after its May nuclear tests.
Pallone, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, urged fellow lawmakers to joint them in urging members of the house-senate conference on the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal 1999, to support a provision in the senate version of the legislation, sponsored by Republican senator Sam Brownback. The legislation would give the US president authority to waive sanctions, thus allowing more flexibility in negotiations with India.
The co-signers included Bill McCollum and Connie Morella (Republicans), and Jim McDermott, Sherrod Brown and Eliot Engel (Democrats).
Pallone explained that the law which triggered the sanctions against India after the nuclear tests did not provide for any waiver or modification of the sanctions, giving the US administration little negotiation flexibility.
''The sanctions regime that has been in place has only served to sever important bilateral relations, without advancing our diplomatic goals. It is time to adapt a more flexible approach,'' it said.
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