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Home > News > PTI

Cautious welcome by India to N-bill

December 08, 2006 20:12 IST

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Reacting cautiously, India on Friday said it welcomed the United States bill on the nuclear deal but noted that it contained certain 'extraneous' and 'prescriptive' provisions.

"The government welcomes the outcome of the conference in the US Congress that has reconciled the waver bills earlier passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively that would enable resumption of civil nuclear energy cooperation between India and the US," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said.

He, however, said that government also noted that the draft contained certain extraneous and prescriptive provisions.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be making a statement on the issue in Parliament soon, the spokesman said.

Observing that the Bill awaits favourable votes by the House and the Senate, he said the US administration has assured New Delhi that once passed, this legislation will enable it to fulfill all its commitments and obligations under the July 18 joint statement of the prime minister and President George W Bush and the separation plan.

"The enactment of the waiver has wider implications for India's access to international cooperation in civilian nuclear energy and is, therefore, of historic significance," he said in a statement.

"We appreciate the personal effort and commitment demonstrated by President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in taking this initiative forward. We are also encouraged by the broad bipartisan support of the Congressional leadership for stronger Indo-US ties," Sarna said.

Observing that the legislation that will be passed is an amendment to the law of the US, he said: "Our obligations and commitments will be those that we undertake in the bilateral 123 agreement."

He said: "We expect that to adhere to the July 18 joint statement and the separation plan. We look forward to working with the US administration for an early conclusion of a satisfactory agreement."

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