The Senate debate - Who said what

October 2nd, 2008 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The historic 86-13 Senate endorsement of the India-US civil nuclear deal came after a two-and-a-half hour debate in which only seven speakers took part. This is how the debate went:Supporters:-

Christopher Dodd (Democrat): This agreement with India is as important as it is historic. It enables the United States and India to chart a new course in relations between our two great democracies. There are compelling geopolitical reasons to move forward in this relationship. India has become a major actor in the world, and it increasingly sees itself in concert with other global powers, rather than in opposition to them.

Richard Lugar (Republican): This is one of the most important strategic diplomatic initiatives undertaken in the last decade. By concluding this pact, the US has embraced a long-term outlook that will give us new diplomatic options and improve global stability. It is an opportunity to build a strategic partnership with a nation that shares our democratic values and will exert increasing influence on the world stage.

John Warner and Kit Bond (both Republican) simply endorsed the deal.

Opponents:-

Byrion Dorgan (Democrat): It’s a gravely flawed agreement that will almost certainly expand the production of nuclear weapons by India and help dismantle the architecture of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Never has something of such moment and such significance and so much importance been debated in such a short period of time and given such short shrift.

Jeff Bingaman (Democrat): The US has deep and very important ties with India, a great leader in technology that needs to be our ally on a number of issues. Many in our high technology community were originally born in India. But we draw the line on non-proliferation issues given its serious consequences. The agreement would make India a de facto nuclear weapons power without the responsibilities of an NPT signatory. India gets to eat its cake and eat it too.

Tom Harkin (Democrat): This is not a non-proliferation enhancement act. It is a non-proliferation degradation and weakening act. There is nothing in this agreement to prevent India from continuing, on a parallel path, its robust nuclear weapons programme. India is allowed to continue producing bomb-making material and is free to expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons. Even worse, there is nothing in this legislation to prevent India from resuming nuclear weapons testing.

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