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ACA to NSG: reject anything "unsound and irresponsible"

world Updated: Sep 03, 2008 07:58 IST
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A prominent arms control think tank has asked the Nuclear Suppliers Group states, opposed to India-specific waiver, "to stand together" during its two-day meet at Vienna and reject anything that is "unsound and irresponsible".

"India and the United States at the Vienna meeting, on September 4 and 5, are hoping for some 'cosmetic changes' but anything 'unsound and irresponsible' should be rejected," Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association (ACA) said at a news briefing

Maintaining it as "extremely important" for the NSG states insisting on conditionalities "to stand together", the senior non-proliferation expert said "the call for a 'clean and an unconditional proposal' in Vienna on September 4 and 5 should be rejected."

Executive Director of the Non-proliferation Policy Education Center and Member of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism, Henry Sokolski, and Sharon Squassoni, a Senior Associate in the Non-proliferation Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace were also present during the briefing.

"The US credibility is at stake," Sokolski said, making a point that the Bush administration is "saying a lot of things to many audiences and it needs to get its act together."

Sokolski argued that the meeting of September 4 and 5 is the 9/11 of Non-proliferation and a turning point in a negative way.

"It is hard to see how it can be anything but an engine of destruction," Sokolski said, cautioning the international community that this nuclear deal would lead to an arms race and is "something that should not be encouraged".

Squassoni maintained the administration's response to the questions submitted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee have been very specific, one of which being the insistence that in the event of a testing by India there will be a cutoff in fuel, among other measures.

"I am not sure if the Indian government will agree with this. It is very important that the NSG writes this down," the Carnegie scholar said, adding that administration have told law makers, specifically on the subjects of termination and fuel supply assurances.

A set of 45 questions was given to the State Department in October 2007 and was answered, but under the specific request of the administration it was not made public until yesterday, three days before the second meeting of the NSG at the Japanese Mission in Vienna.

"In general, US administration has to follow US law. India will not be very happy with the responses," Squassoni said.

"There is no way this deal is going to be approved by Congress without violating the Hyde Act," Sokolski said.

Squassoni further maintained that with only some 19 days left in this Congressional session, it is difficult, if not impossible how this deal could get through this 110th Congress.

The agreement must sit before the Committee for thirty days she pointed out adding this assumes that everything is in order. "That is not the case," Squassoni said as India and the IAEA have just begin discussions on the Additional Protocol.

"It has to be taken up by the next Congress," she said.