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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist statement on nuclear cooperation agreement with India

Washington, DC
March 2, 2006 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) today made the following statement on the civil nuclear energy agreement signed by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

"The historic agreement between President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh to enhance cooperation between the United States and India on issues relating to nuclear energy represents a major step forward in our relationship. As the world's oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India have a deep interest in expanding and strengthening a close, cooperative strategic partnership. 

"While I believe that the Congress will support this agreement, it is important to take into consideration the non-proliferation concerns raised by some of my colleagues. Although India is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has not proliferated nuclear technology. I am encouraged by the fact that this agreement will, for the first time, require a majority of India's nuclear reactors to be placed under international safeguards. This agreement will help bring India into the nonproliferation mainstream, improve nuclear safety, and strengthen their export controls. 

"That said, Congress needs to review the agreement and understand its details before agreeing to change current law. The implications of this deal on America's non-proliferation efforts need to be addressed, as well as the impact it will have on our bilateral trade, energy goals, technology sharing, and our overall strategic relationship with India. I look forward to receiving detailed briefings from the Administration on this matter as we move forward.

"I again applaud President Bush and Prime Minister Singh for reaching this bold agreement. And, I will continue to support a strong strategic partnership between the United States and India, especially when it promises to promote democracy, stability, and prosperity in the region."