N-deal: Bush allays Indian concerns over fuel supply, reprocessing

October 9th, 2008 - 4:00 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) President George W. Bush has sought to allay India’s concerns over nuclear fuel assurances and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel with an assertion that the enabling US law does not change the terms of the bilateral 123 Agreement.“The legislation does not change the terms of the 123 Agreement as I submitted it to the Congress,” said Bush in what the White House described as a “Statement by the President on the Occasion of Signing H.R. 7081,” which had added a couple of riders in ratifying the India-US civil nuclear deal.

“That Agreement is consistent with the Atomic Energy Act and other elements of US law. This legislation is important as it enables me to bring the 123 Agreement into force and to accept on behalf of the United States the obligations contained in the Agreement,” Bush said.

“The Agreement grants India advance consent to reprocessing which will be brought into effect upon conclusion of arrangements and procedures for a dedicated reprocessing facility under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards,” he stated.

“In addition, the 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,” added the president as he signed the historic law at a White House ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

“The passage of this legislation by the Congress marks another major milestone in achieving the vision that (Indian) Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh and I set forth on July 18, 2005, to transform the relationship between our two countries and to establish a strategic partnership.

“The passage of this legislation reflects the common view of my administration and the Congress as to the value of nuclear cooperation and is in the interest of the United States and India,” Bush said.

This Act will strengthen the relationship between the United States and India and deliver valuable benefits to both the nations, he added.

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