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McCain, Obama hail NSG waiver for India

world Updated: Sep 07, 2008 20:23 IST

The US presidential nominees on Sunday welcomed the NSG waiver to India, with Republican John McCain asking Congressional leaders to act "expeditiously" to pass the Indo-US nuclear deal and Democrat Barack Obama seeking its quick submission before lawmakers.

"I welcome the decision by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group to lift the global ban on civilian nuclear trade with India," McCain said in a statement in Virginia.

He said this step, which is critical to implementing the nuclear deal, represents "another building block in the partnership between our two countries".

"Because the agreement will further involve India in the global nonproliferation regime, strengthen the ongoing transformation of US-India relations, and reduce India's dependence on carbon-emitting energy sources, I supported it early on and without equivocation," Senator McCain said.

Slamming his rival, he said "the same cannot be said of my opponent, who supported 'poison pill' amendments on the Senate floor that would have had the effect of killing this important agreement."

Now that the NSG has approved the waiver, "Congressional leaders should act expeditiously to pass the US-India nuclear agreement here at home," he said.

From Chicago, Obama issued a statement calling the NSG approval a "positive development" and saying that he is looking forward to "reviewing" what the grouping has agreed in Vienna. Obama has also urged the Bush administration to submit the agreement "quickly" to the Congress.

"I welcome news that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has now reached a consensus to adopt an exception to its rules that would permit its members to engage in nuclear cooperation with India. It is a positive development," the Democrat White House hopeful said.

"I look forward to reviewing what the NSG has agreed in Vienna, and urge the Administration to submit the US-India Agreement for Civil Nuclear Cooperation to the Congress quickly," Obama, who hopes to be the first black President of the US, said.