A n-test may put India to Hyde test, suggests Rice

October 4th, 2008 - 10:18 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghWashington, Oct 4 (IANS) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has indicated that while the US would honour its commitments to India regarding their civil nuclear deal, the contentious Hyde Act would come into play if India tests again.”I think we’ve been very clear about US views on this issue,” she told reporters Friday on way to New Delhi following Congressional approval of the implementing 123 agreement when asked if it was part of her mission to deliver a warning message about not testing.

“The Indians have a lot at stake here,” said Rice without explicitly saying how would the US react in the event of an Indian test. ” And they have made very clear that what they want to do is they want to move on to civil nuclear cooperation. And I think they understand the grounds on which we’ve done this.

“The United States is going to remain true to its commitments under the Hyde Act (the US enabling law) and true to the commitments that President (George W.) Bush has made to Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh,” she said. “And I know that the Indians will do the same.”

Asked if the India deal would in any sense serve as a model for other countries seeking a similar deal, Rice said: “I think India is really sui generis (of its own kind). It is a state that has had - really, very good proliferation record.

“Obviously, it posed some challenges because of its strategic nuclear programmes,” she said but believed that approval of the deal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Suppliers Group, and ultimately, the US Congress, was a recognition of what the nuclear watchdog agency’s head had said.

Rice cited IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei to suggest that “bringing India and Indian civil nuclear programmes and facilities and their future into the IAEA framework is a win for the proliferation regime as a whole.” “I think India is, in many ways, sui generis in that regard,” she added.

Rice said she was “very much looking forward to going to India, really to just affirm the extraordinary progress that we’ve made in US-Indian relations under the visionary leadership of” Bush and Manmohan Singh.

“I think this is a relationship that has now a firm foundation to reach its full potential,” said America’s top diplomat who is considered as the prime architect and driving force behind the nuclear deal.

“In bilateral terms, of course, the Civil Nuclear Agreement is important, but I think we can now draw a line under that and talk about the breadth of this relationship,” she said noting the areas of cooperation.

“And really, in everything from defence cooperation to educational cooperation to agricultural and economic cooperation, this is a relationship that is very strong and broad and deep.

“And it’s, of course, a relationship that’s based first and foremost on values; the Indian and American democracies, both great multiethnic democracies,” she said. “With all of the excitement and cacophony that comes with that, it is really an extraordinary moment for US-Indian relations.”

The two countries can now move from this foundation to global issues, Rice said noting, “We are working together on Afghanistan. We’ve worked together on humanitarian relief, as evidenced in what we did at the time of the Indonesia events. And there is much more that the United States and India can do together.”

“So I look forward to going and spending, unfortunately, a short time in India. But I think it does show that the relationship is now ready to move to this new level and to exploit all the things that we can do together,” Rice added.

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