Bush signs Indo-US nuke deal bill into law

October 9th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 9 (ANI): US President George W Bush has signed into law the legislation to implement the historic Indo-US civil nuclear deal assuring there are no changes in fuel supply commitments as provided in the 123 Agreement.

This legislation does not change the fuel assurance commitments that the US government has made to the Government of India as recorded in the 123 Agreement, Bush said allaying India’’s fears on issues relating to fuel supplies.

As he put his signature on the nuclear bill paving the way for the two countries to formally ink the 123 Agreement on Friday, Bush said the legislation makes no changes to the terms of the 123 Agreement I submittted to Congress.

There were fears that the legislation as approved by the Congress may have a couple of riders regarding fuels supplies.

By undertaking new cooperation on civil nuclear energy, India will be able to count on a reliable fuel supply for its civilian reactors, Bush said as his speech was applauded on several occasions by the distinguished gathering assembled for the high profile signing ceremony at the White House’’s ornate East Room.

Bush also described India and the US as natural partners.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will formally sign the overall bilateral nuclear cooperation accord on Friday evening itself in a surprise announcement made by the State Department hours before Bush’’s signature on the implementing legislation.

The agreement also grants India advance consent to reprocessing, which will be brought into effect upon the conclusion of arrangements and procedures for a dedicated reprocessing facility under IAEA safeguards, Bush said.

Bush said the agreement is consistent with Atomic Energy Act and other elements of the US law and that the legislation makes no changes to the 123 Agreement.

Bush inked the H R 7081, United States- India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement Act finally cleared by the US Congress last week reversing 34 years of US policy to eventually allow American businesses to have a share of India’’s 100 billion dollar nuclear pie.

On Friday at 4 o”clock (0130 IST Saturday) the secretary will sign with the Indian foreign minister, Foreign Minister Mukherjee, the India Civil Nuclear Agreement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington.

This follows on the president’’s signature today of implementing legislation in the United States, he added. (ANI)

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