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Statement by Mr. Anand Sharma Minister of State for External Affairs on US-India nuclear cooperation promotion act of 2006

New Delhi
July 26, 2006 

The Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, Shri Anand Sharma informed the Lok Sabha today that a Bill titled the `United States and India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006’ has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. In the section on Statement of Policy, article 3(b)(4) of this Bill states `Secure India’s full and active participation in United States efforts to dissuade, isolate, and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear weapons capability (including the capability to enrich or process nuclear materials), and the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction’. 

Shri Sharma further said that the salient feature of the proposed Act is that it gives the US President the authority to waive the application of certain provisions of the 1954 US Atomic Energy Act that currently prohibits nuclear cooperation with India. Once enacted, this waiver authority would represent the fulfillment of US commitment to adjust its laws and policies to permit full civilian nuclear cooperation with India. 

The Bill contains sections that refer to issues extraneous to the 18th July 2005 Joint Statement and India’s Separation Plan. It is the Government’s position that the guiding principle for the resumption of civilian nuclear energy cooperation with the United States must remain the framework of the 18 July Joint Statement and India’s Separation Plan. This position has been clearly communicated to the US Administration including by the Prime Minister to the US President. The language of the proposed Act is still under discussion in the US Congress and the Government would continue to engage the US Administration on this matter, Shri Sharma added. 

This information was given by the Minister in reply to question by S/Shri C.K. Chandrappan, Prabhunath Singh and Swadesh Chakrabortty.