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N-deal will strengthen non-proliferation regime: US

Shridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | September 13, 2008 11:05 IST

With the India-United States nuclear agreement waiting to get the Congress approval, the State Department has said the initiative will help meet India's growing energy requirements and strengthen the non-proliferation regime by welcoming India into internationally accepted nonproliferation standards and practices.

Issuing a fact sheet on the civilian nuclear initiative, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs also expressed hope that the deal will be approved by the US Congress.

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"This initiative establishes a firm foundation for additional nonproliferation and counter proliferation cooperation, areas we fully intend to advance through the course of our strategic partnership," the State Department said.

"Congressional approval would be the culmination of an unprecedented three-year effort by the US and India, in a way that deepens our strategic partnership and strengthens global nonproliferation principals while providing trade and investment opportunities that will assist India to meet its energy requirements in an environmentally responsible way," it said.

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Calling the decision of the IAEA of August 1 and that of the NSG of September 6 as historic events, the State Department has said that these events "have welcomed India into the nonproliferation regimes and formed a firm foundation for the US and India to strengthen our efforts in the future to prevent WMD proliferation and to combat terrorism".       

"We believe the 123 Agreement package is consistent with the requirements Congress set out with strong bipartisan support in its passage of the Hyde Act in 2006, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Congress to bring the agreement into force," the State Department said.

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The statement said the President's communication with Congress that refers to fuel supplies to India was more of a political commitment rather than legally binding.

India's commitment to continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, along with the others made this Initiative 'achievable', the Fact Sheet said.

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"Peaceful nuclear cooperation does not fundamentally differ from other forms of energy cooperation...  The NPT allows for such nuclear energy cooperation with non-parties that do not have full-scope safeguards, so long as such cooperation is under safeguards" it said.

"Additionally, India has pledged to continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and is working with the United States to conclude a multilateral Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, a longstanding objective of the international community," it said, adding that each of these activities helps strengthen the global nonproliferation regime.

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"Together, they constitute a dramatic change in moving India into closer conformity with international nonproliferation standards and practices."  

The State Department also thanked the NSG member countries for their "outstanding efforts and cooperation in forging this consensus on welcoming India closer to the international nonproliferation regime".

US can stop N-cooperation if India tests: Mulford

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