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Indo-US nuke deal has bipartisan support in US
November 17, 2005 10:55 IST
India's landmark nuclear deal with the United States has secured bipartisan support in America, but New Delhi must separate its civilian and military facilities before the agreement is passed before the US Congress, Democrat leader John Edwards said on Wednesday.
"I think the support for this deal is bipartisan (in the US)," Edwards, a likely presidential candidate for 2008, said in response to a question during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
In July, India and the United States agreed to co-operate in civilian nuclear energy programmes. Seen as a boost for India, which has not signed the non-proliferation treaty, the deal requires the Bush administration to change US law to allow the agreement with New Delhi to go through.
But the move by the US government to make an exception in case of India has earlier raised concern in Congress, with opposition voiced by both Republicans and Democrats.
"Some members of the US Congress are sceptic. India needs to show them evidence...and separate its civilian and nuclear facilities," Edwards remarked.
He described the India-US nuclear agreement as a 'very good step forward' for both the countries, when asked whether Democrats would continue to support the deal in the event of their winning power in the 2008 elections.
Edwards, the Democrat Party nominee for vice-president in 2004, also backed India's bid for the United Nations Security Council. "The international community have to find a place for India in the Security Council," he said.