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Senator wants US Congress to pass N-deal before India

world Updated: Jan 09, 2008 08:35 IST
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A senior Republican lawmaker has suggested that the US Congress "look at" passing the 123 Agreement for civil nuclear cooperation between New Delhi and Washington to give a fillip to the UPA government's efforts to pass it in the Indian Parliament.

"A decision will have to be made as to whether or not we should take the position of whether or not India is willing to support the 123 Agreement and get it through their Parliament," Republican Senator George Voinovich told PTI in the course of a teleconference.

"...Our passing it would be very significant to members of the Parliament in India...Who can say 'Look the US has passed it, the Nuclear Suppliers are comfortable with it and the International Atomic Energy Agency is happy with it and all we need now is get it passed and that will make it a reality,'" Voinovich said.

The Ohio Senator, who sits in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said there might be some in the Senate "who take the position...Why should we get involved when India won't get it done... And end up with nothing".

"It is a question of timing," he added.

"It will be great if they (the Manmohan Singh government) get it through their Parliament. I think that would set the stage for us to do the same here in the United States. I think as long as it is held up there it may have influence on us...But I think we should have a look at it," Voinovich said.

"Would our passage help give them some more clout in terms of getting it through the Parliament? That's something we would have to look at," he added.