Friday, November 17, 2006

US Senate backs India nuclear deal

Wow, they actually got something right!

THE US Senate has overwhelmingly approved Washington's nuclear deal with New Delhi, just hours after a telephone conversation between President George W.Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, India, a non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, will be allowed access to long-denied civilian nuclear technology in return for placing its atomic reactors under global safeguards. Yesterday's go-ahead for the deal seals India's historic shift towards closer ties with the West.

US Senate support for legislation implementing civilian nuclear energy co-operation between the two countries had been stalled, and New Delhi feared the deal could collapse following the Democrats' congressional election victories.

But with Mr Bush backing the legislation -- which he affirmed when he spoke to Dr Singh -- it passed the Senate by a majority of 85-12 after a debate lasting 11 hours. The delight among Indian officials yesterday appeared almost boundless.

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