President Bush has signed legislation that paves the way for civilian nuclear
trade between the United States and India. From the White House, VOA's Michael
The legislation ends a 34-year ban on nuclear
trade between the two countries. It allows the United States to share civilian
nuclear technology and materials with India. For its part, New Delhi is
promising to open some of its nuclear facilities to U.N.
President Bush signed the measure in the White House East
"This legislation will enhance our cooperation in using
nuclear energy to power our economies, will help us to work together more
closely to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation across the world,"
President Bush said.
The agreement itself is to be signed Friday by
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Indian counterpart, Pranab
President Bush noted that relations between Washington and New
Delhi have, at times, been cool.
"In recent years we have worked to
transform our relationship into a strong strategic partnership," said Mr. Bush.
"One area where we saw tremendous potential for cooperation is energy. As our
economies have grown, our demands for energy have grown, as well. It has become
increasingly clear that we need to generate in ways that are safe and clean and
secure. One energy source that can generate large amounts of electricity with
zero emissions of air pollution or greenhouse gases is nuclear power."
1998, India made headlines with a series of nuclear weapons tests. New Delhi has
signed neither the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty nor the nuclear
Some U.S. legislators who oppose the new pact
say there are insufficient safeguards to prevent India from diverting nuclear
fuel from its intended civilian use to its weapons program.
officials have said they are committed to nuclear disarmament and