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Nuclear deal is in world interest, says PM

G Sudhakar Nair in New York | September 28, 2008 14:42 IST

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Complete coverage: The Indo-US nuclear deal
As the House of Representatives gave its nod to the Indo-US nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] said the landmark agreement, which will add an important "strategic pillar" to bilateral ties, is in the interest of the two countries and the world at large.

Singh, who was on a five-day visit to the US, made these remarks at a reception hosted for him by the leading members of the Indian community in New York on Saturday night.

The news of the US House of Representatives passing the bill on the deal reached the venue as the Prime Minister was interacting with the guests.

In his address to the gathering before leaving for France [Images] at the end of his US visit, Singh said the historic agreement to operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear deal was "nearing fruition" adding an important "strategic pillar" to bilateral relations.

The prime minister said India was on the verge of securing a new status in the global nuclear order and will be liberated from the constraints of technology denial of 34 years.

"India will be liberated from the constraints of technology denial of 34 years. It will add an important strategic pillar to our bilateral partnership. We will widen our clean energy options," he said.

Singh said the Indo-US relationship is based on the twin pillars of principles and pragmatism and thanked the Indian American community for their supportive role in the progress of the agreement. 

Singh told the assembled Indian community that their success in diverse spheres of human endeavour is a living proof that given a proper enabling environment the people of Indian origin are second to none.

"The pluralism makes us both 'argumentative societies'--to use my friend Amartya Sen's term. As an 'argumentative people' we are bound to have our differences and to voice them that is what makes our relationship a lively one. The arguments that we have are arguments between equals, and not adversaries," he said.

Singh said that with the launch of the Chandrayaan moon mission, with two American instruments, next month the two countries will cross another milestone.

He pointed out that support for a strong India-US relationship cuts across party lines in both India and the US.      

"The overall sentiment that emerges from our respective domestic debates is a strong positive endorsements of our strategic partnership," Singh said.

He said the two countries faced common threats and challenges--of terrorism, energy security, proliferation, drugs, maritime security, climate change and environmental degradation.

Noting that the Indian American community has become the "brain bank" of their adopted country, Singh hoped it would also become the "brain bridge" between India and the US in frontier areas of technology as well as in trade and investment.

He wanted each member of the Indian community in the US to be an active partner in the saga of adventure and enterprise to build an India free of want and exploitation.

The Indian government, he said, is working to further improve the Overseas Citizens of India scheme.

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