Indian cabinet okays US nuclear pact

India's cabinet approved on Wednesday a bilateral agreement paving the way for civilian nuclear cooperation with the United States, days after the two nations concluded controversial talks to sew up the pact.

Indian cabinet okays US nuclear pact
India's cabinet approved on Wednesday a bilateral agreement paving the way for civilian nuclear cooperation with the United States, days after the two nations concluded controversial talks to sew up the pact.

The deal, first agreed in principle two years ago, aims to give India access to US nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years to help meet its soaring energy needs.

"They approved the agreement," Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters, after a joint meeting of the cabinet committees on security and political affairs.

"All concerns of India have been reflected and have been adequately addressed."

Details of the bilateral pact, which the two sides struggled to put together, have not been made public but a joint statement issued after talks in Washington last week said they had made "substantial progress".

The pact now has to be approved by US Congress, while India needs to get clearances from the Nuclear Suppliers Group of nations that govern global civilian nuclear trade and also conclude an agreement to place its civilian reactors under UN safeguards.

The deal has been opposed by critics in both countries who say their governments may be making too many compromises in their bid to seal what is seen as a symbol of the blossoming friendship between New Delhi and Washington.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2007, 14:57
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