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U.S. Senator Sam Brownback Applauds India Nuclear Agreement

Washington, DC
March 6, 2006 

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today commented on the nuclear agreement reached between India and the United States. President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the agreement last week, when the president was in India to discuss energy and trade.

“The U.S.-India relationship is a natural partnership built on the foundations of democracy, military cooperation, trade, economics, and now energy. Looking at the balance of power in this critical region of the world, India’s ability to serve as a counterweight to China should be of top strategic concern to the United States. I commend President Bush and the Administration for reaching this historic agreement with India, one of our most important strategic partners is Asia.”

In exchange for India agreeing to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, the United States agreed to provide India with technical assistance and nuclear energy materials. India also agreed to international inspections of its civilian nuclear facilities. In order for the agreement to be finalized, Congress must create an exception for India under the Atomic Energy Act of 1956 (as amended in 1978) to allow for private investment in civil nuclear energy.

Brownback continued, “Some have voiced understandable concerns about how this nuclear energy agreement with India affects the nuclear weapons ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Simply put, India does not have the record of Iran and North Korea. India has protected its nuclear program for 30 years and has not proliferated, unlike North Korea. India has followed international nuclear energy regulations, unlike Iran, which continues to violate such regulations. This agreement is good for India and it is good for the United States. I am confident that Congress can work with the Administration to move this agreement forward in the coming months, and that we will see our growing relationship with India develop greatly in the coming years.”

Senator Brownback is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.