Biden hails n-deal as ‘victory for US-India relations’

October 2nd, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Oct 2 (IANS) Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden has hailed the Senate’s “historic passage” of the nuclear deal as “a victory for US-India relations, which will increase the prospect for stability and progress in South Asia”.”It has become cliché to speak of the US-India relationship as a bond between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy, but it’s also a fact,” said Biden. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is the ruinning mate of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“Shared political values are the foundation for our relationship, a firm belief in the dignity of man and the consent of the governed,” Biden stated Thursday.

“This legislation allows civil nuclear cooperation with India to proceed and it starts to bring India into the global nuclear non-proliferation system,” said the senator.

The lawmakers had “taken great care, moreover, to protect the role of Congress and of the international institutions that enforce nuclear non-proliferation”, he said.

The “agreement was the result of hard compromises - compromises between our two countries, and between the Executive and Legislative branches of government” in the US, Biden noted.

“The end result, however, was overwhelming bipartisan support, in both the House and the Senate. That level of broad, solid, bipartisan buy-in was absolutely essential when crafting legislation with such long-term impact on vital American interests,” he said.

“This US-India agreement is also much more than just a nuclear deal. I believe historians will see this as part of the dramatic and positive departure in the US-India relationship.”

“But there is still much to be done in India, as a stable and secure India is very much in America’s national interest,” Biden said.

“We should work to help India increase its energy production, combat terrorism, and guard against epidemics of infectious diseases. We should help both India and Pakistan to ease tensions between their countries and, someday, to walk back from the nuclear precipice,” the vice-presidential hopeful stressed.

“Lastly, India should continue its progress toward the front rank of world leaders, and especially of leaders in combating the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Approval of this agreement today helps both countries to keep moving on the path of cooperation for a better world,” Biden said.

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