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Kissinger backs nuclear deal

A majority of Senators may eventually come round to supporting the Indo-US N-agreement, writes S Rajagopalan.
None | By S Rajagopalan, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 21, 2006 01:49 AM IST

In a projection that will surely warm Indian cockles, Richard Lugar, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sees the probability of a majority of Senators eventually coming round to supporting the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

The deal is an extremely complex issue and some members may be starting with a bias and suspicion, he said but added, "My guess is that in due course, a majority of members of the Senate...are probably going to come down on the side of the legislation."

Lugar made the comments to Indianapolis Star in what was his first substantial interview on the subject. It came on a day when former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's, writing in the Washington Post, came out in strong support of nuclear cooperation with India.

The senior Republican lawmaker from Indiana, who is known for his strong position on non-proliferation matters, has not declared his own support to the legislation on the nuke deal as yet.

However, he has indicated in the interview that he could back the measure. "I am finally satisfied that the new strategic relationship is in the best interest of our country and that there are considerable if not complete safeguards with regard to nuclear fuel, and that a substitute of nuclear for hydrocarbons is likely to come of this."

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