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India opposes US non-proliferation plan
January 28, 2005 11:04 IST
US President George W Bush's nuclear non-proliferation plan has been stalled due to resistance from many countries, including India, a media report said in Washington on Thursday.
"The open possession of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan and their ability to escape serious international punishment because of their strategic value to the US and its allies have weakened the longstanding taboo against obtaining nuclear arms," the Wall Street Journal reported.
The most difficult debate internationally, said the paper, may be on Bush's proposal for an across-the-board ban on sales of nuclear-fuel technology to nations that don't already possess full-scale plants.
The British and French are instead proposing that new countries should be allowed to go into the business if they meet a set of criteria that prove they have no weapons ambitions -- criteria that the US argues those who proliferate could outwit.
Britain and other allies warn that nuclear powers need to move 'gingerly' between promoting reform and provoking a backlash from the nuclear have-nots, who might react to pressure by walking away from all international controls.
Canadians and Australians, the Journal noted, oppose an across-the-board ban because they have extensive uranium-mining operations and want to keep their options open.
Bush's call to deny all nuclear sales to countries that refuse to sign the Additional Protocol, it said, has support, but there are two main holdouts -- Russia and France, which want sales of civilian nuclear reactors, which both countries manufacture and export, to be exempted.