Condoleezza Rice to visit India tomorrow to ink Nuke deal
To make the final agreement of much awaited India-US nuke deal after it was passed in the US senate Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is arriving in Indian capital tomorrow. The senate has passed this historic legislation with a thumping majority of 86 to 13 margin. With this agreement India would be integrated into the global exclsuive club of Nuke countrirs who can diectly deal into Uranimum.
This much awaited and widely debated deal in both countries would enable India's moribund nuclear reactors to get uranium and it will be also able to set up new nuclear power plants. India has acute crisis of power shortages and new source of energy is desperatly required. The deal allows Indian companies to acquire U.S. civilian nuclear technology and materials to boost the country's rising energy requirement in exchange for opening its nuclear energy facilities for inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The deak didn't come through smoothly as Left parties supporting the ruling government had withdrawn its support protesting against the nuke deal.
In the meantime Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain has hailed passing of legislation in the senate. Hailing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's call for liberal democracy, McCain said this approach toward democracy as "the natural order of social and political organisation in today's world."
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to India on Friday for a three-day visit, during which the 123 agreement may be signed
. The State Department said she will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hold talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, discussing a wide range of issues, including the civil nuclear initiative.
"They (Rice and Indian leaders) are obviously going to talk about the (civil nuclear) agreement and what it means for the relationship," Department Spokesman McCormack said.
He, however, refused to say categorically whether the 123 agreement, which was today overwhelmingly approved by the US congress, would be signed during Rice's visit.
Sources in New Delhi, however, said the signing of the agreement was high on the agenda of the visit.
"The President has to sign it... I would expect that there will be a number of other administrative or bureaucratic steps along the way... If there are any further events, you know, signings or anything else around this agreement in India, we'll let you know.... Right now I don't have anything to announce," the Spokesman said.
"I'm sure that there are going to be other things that, you know -- for example, enrolling a bill for the president... to sign legislation.
"And I'm sure on the Indian side perhaps there are other such things. But, again, I'm not going to concern myself with those kind of bureaucratic things. It's not a question whether they are going to happen, but, you know, but when, and it's a matter of people doing those things. So I'm not trying to indicate any obstacles to this," McCormack said.
On the nuclear deal, he said: "It, in our view, will mean a different kind of relationship between the United Sates and India for decades to come."
The agreement has drawn criticism from nonproliferation advocates because India has shunned the Nonproliferation Treaty meant to stop the spread and production of nuclear weapons as well as a companion international pact banning nuclear tests