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US Senate approves nuclear deal

Sridhar Krishnaswami | October 02, 2008 07:37 IST

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Coverage: The Indo-US nuclear tango
The United States Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a legislation on the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal, paving the way for its operationalisation, four days after the House of Representatives gave its nod for it.

The Berman Bill H R 7081, named after Howard Berman, a Democrat strongly opposed to the deal on non-proliferation grounds and who converted only a couple of days back, was adopted with 86 voting for and 13 against.

The Senate also rejected the killer amendments introduced by Democratic Senators Byron Dorgan and Jeff Bingaman to ensure that the US nuclear exports to India do not help boost New Delhi's [Images] nuclear weapons programme.

With the 100-member Senate approving the Bill, the Indo-US civil nuclear deal is now ready for signing between the two countries. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images], who was slated to arrive in New Delhi on October 2, has reportedly rescheduled her visit and is expected on Saturday.

Rice may ink the agreement with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, a feat that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and President George W Bush [Images] could not achieve when they met at the White House on Friday last.

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