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March 2, 2006

U.S., India Seal Historic Nuclear Energy Deal

Topics: International News

President Bush and Prime Minister Singh announced on Thursday that they had reached agreement on implementing what President Bush called a "historic" nuclear pact that would help India satisfy its enormous civilian energy needs while allowing it to continue to develop nuclear weapons. While some will say that India is being rewarded for bad behavior and that other nations will be encouraged to cut their own bilateral deals to get nuclear power, nonetheless, the deal is a good deal for both countries.

Writing at Time, Mathew Cooper sums it up:

.India needs the nuclear power desperately. It's on track to become the world's most populous nation and in need of power to fuel its surging economy. What's more, the country's own coal is particularly dirty and polluting and no one concerned about global warming wants to see India stay as reliant on fossil fuels. The U.S. is eager to cement its ties with India as well as reap the economic benefits of selling billions of dollars in nuclear equipment to India at a time when America's nuclear power industry hasn't built a new plant in over 30 years. More importantly, U.S. India relations are, in Burns's words, at a "high water mark" since 1947. The nuclear deal and a slew of economic agreements and greater military and intelligence cooperation have pushed the two countries together as they both fear Islamic-based terror groups. The nuclear deal was the biggest obstacle preventing normal relations between the two countries. Now, it's on its way to being removed.
Read the rest of Cooper's piece on "How Bush Sealed a Nuclear Deal with India."

Whether or not other countries will agree to sell India nuclear material remains to be seen. For example, Australia, which has the world's largest uranium reserves, has ruled out selling uranium to India because of its stance on the Proliferation Treaty - even though New Delhi and Washington have reached an agreement to open Indian civilian nuclear plants to inspection.

Posted by Richard at March 2, 2006 10:16 PM

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