India, US to ink nuclear deal on Friday

October 9th, 2008 - 9:07 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Oct 9 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is leaving for Washington tonight to sign the 123 Agreement on Friday with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, paving the way for nuclearcommerce between the two countries.
On Wednesday, the US President George Bush signed the legislation on the nuclear initiative.
In a statement, Bush made it clear that the legislation does not change the fuel assurance commitments that US had made to India in the 123 Agreement.
He maintained that the legislation is clear that the agreement with India is consistent with Atomic Energy Act and the US law.
On October 2, the US Senate approved the agreement, four days after the US House of Representatives passed it by a clear majority.
Last month, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) of countries that supply nuclear material and technology had agreed to lift the ban on civilian nuclear trade with India after contentious talks and some concessions to countries fearful it could set a dangerous precedent.
India has refused to sign non-proliferation agreements and has faced a nuclear trade ban since its first atomic test in 1974. (ANI)

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