|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Indo-US N-deal will be a great accomplishment: Pallone
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | February 17, 2006 11:48 IST
Backing the proposed Indo-US civilian nuclear accord, US Congressman Frank Pallone has said its implementation is important for bilateral relations and would help strengthen energy security between the two nations.
The founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans also stressed that New Delhi has no record of proliferating dual-use nuclear technology and understands the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"The Bush administration has made separation of India's military and civilian nuclear facilities an important benchmark by which to judge India's seriousness. In separating these facilities and placing the civilian ones under safeguards, it shows India's commitment to its role in the global community," the Democrat said.
"...the US-India civil nuclear agreement strengthens energy security for both the US and India and promotes the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India to ensure adequate and affordable supplies. Development and expansion of US-India civil nuclear cooperation should, over time, lessen India's dependence on imported hydrocarbons, including those from Iran," he said in his address to the House of Representatives.
The New Jersey Democrat said the US has established a remarkable strategic partnership with India, and a civil nuclear cooperation would be a "great accomplishment."
"Its implementation is important for national security and for US-India relations. Our two nations have made extraordinary progress over the last several years, and the path that lies ahead is critical to our improving relationship", he said.
On fears of proliferation, Pallone said India should not be considered as a problem state.
"India is taking necessary steps to build its relationship with the international community. Although India has never been a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, it should not be considered as a problem state with regard to non-proliferation issues.
"It has no record of proliferating dual-use nuclear technology to other countries. India understands the danger of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and has agreed to key international nonproliferation requirements", he said.
Pallone also urged his colleagues in the House that once the administration outlines the details of the civilian nuclear agreement, Congress must go about implementing it in a bipartisan fashion to support it.
Observing that the US and India have a natural connection due to their shared values of diversity, democracy and prosperity, he said the growing bilateral relationship is creating new and profound opportunities between our two countries."We have shared democratic values and national interests that have fostered a transformed relationship that is central to the future success of the international community, and that includes the global war on terrorism and slowing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Building this strategic partnership was unforeseen a few years ago, but its success is important in creating a strong democratic foundation in Asia", he added.