Bush admn not clear on N-deal: Senators | india | Hindustan Times
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Bush admn not clear on N-deal: Senators

The Bush administration has come under fire from US Senators who have accused it of not being transparent with them.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 17:11 IST

The Bush administration has come under fire from US Senators who have accused it of not being transparent with them on the landmark Indo-US civil nuclear deal and for having "reneged" on a promise to share drafts of the agreement, but cautioned that the pact should not be tinkered with at this stage.

The Bush administration paid "little attention to our concerns" as it negotiated with India the separation plan and that it submitted a legislative proposal to the Senate and a decision proposal to the Nuclear Suppliers Group "that were so poorly drafted as to cast doubt on the administration's seriousness of purpose," ranking Democrat Joseph Biden said at a hearing on the deal on Thursday.

"The administration has done a lot more to lobby us than to work with us," Biden told the Chair pointing out that "it has yet to answer questions for the record; yet to share the negotiating record; yet to share the full list of India's civilian facilities even in a classified version and reneging on an earlier promise to share drafts of the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement that it is negotiating with India.

"I still think that a new deal for India makes sense. But it isn't a 'slam dunk,' as they say," Biden said.

At the start of the hearing, the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar, Republican from Indiana, stressed that while his Committee is cognizant of how valuable a closer relationship with India could be for the administration, law makers must examine "the implications and risks" of initiating a cooperative nuclear relationship with India.