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?India more in sync with NSG?

In a renewed bid to convince a sceptical US Congress on the need to approve the nuclear deal, the Bush administration has sought to dispel the notion that Washington has given away "too much".

india Updated: May 19, 2006 02:48 IST

In a renewed bid to convince a sceptical US Congress on the need to approve the nuclear deal, the Bush administration has sought to dispel the notion that Washington has given away "too much".

Testifying before a House sub-committee on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher stressed that India had "already done much" to improve export controls and bring itself "more and more into alignment with the international non-proliferation regime".

He pointed out that India's new export controls were already in alignment with the practices of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers' Group that is slated to consider the Indo-US deal at its May 29 plenary meeting in Rio de Janeiro. He also referred to India's pledge to support negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.

To those harping on the position that the US has given away too much, Boucher said: "I think we'd all be happy if India and Pakistan gave up their nuclear weapons and joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It's not going to happen. This is a real-world agreement. We don't claim it's perfect. We claim it provides a net gain for non-proliferation. It brings India into alignment with non-proliferation efforts worldwide."

He reminded lawmakers that approval of the deal would "elevate US-India relationship to heights we have never previously achieved".