HT Image
HT Image

India nuke deal positive for US: Burns

The Undersecretary of State said there was "compelling group" of nations who have expressed support for initiative.
None | By Press Trust of India, Washington
UPDATED ON MAR 23, 2006 02:39 AM IST

Asserting that the nuclear deal with India was "positive" for America's national interests, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns on Wednesday said there was "compelling group" of nations who have expressed support for the initiative.

In a press meet at the Washington Foreign Press Centre, Burns disclosed that the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher along with Stephen Rademaker, acting Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation will be briefing the Nuclear Suppliers Group in Vienna tomorrow on the civilian nuclear arrangement.

Without spelling out the list of countries at the NSG that backed the proposal, Burns said that there were a "compelling group" of nations who have expressed support for the initiative.

There is a "very strong tide of support" the Senior State department official remarked making also the point that a lot of countries at the NSG are looking at the United States Government pushing the deal through Congress.

Burns also pointed out that not all countries of the NSG are ready to come out and back the accord; rather that they wanted to see the details and the process will take time but in the end the administration is hopeful of a positive outcome.

Burns stressed that the civilian nuclear deal with India was positive for America and the accord with is a net gain for non-proliferation.

That said Burns went on to make the point that the Bush administration came to the conclusion that it was better off "working with" India, a country that believes in the rule of law and among other things had not proliferated.

"India can be trusted," said Burns.

Burns also once again refuted the notion that the civilian nuclear energy agreement with India weakens pressure on such countries like Iran. Not a single country had come up to the United States and said that because of the deal with India, the Iranian case had been weakened, the top official said adding that this argument "carries no water, carries no weight".

There is a "dramatic" difference between India and Iran, Burns remarked.

"The senior official was also asked if Iran now got out of the Non Proliferation Treaty whether it could also get a deal similar to the US-India arrangement not a chance in the world," he said.

The senior administration official denied that Pakistan had been kept in the dark on the US-India nuclear deal.

"We did keep the Pakistani government fully informed" on the civilian nuclear agreement, Burns said. He also made the point that this agreement with India is good for all countries in South Asia as India was coming into international safeguards and that should be an "attractive proposition" to all countries in the region including Pakistan.

Story Saved