House approves nuclear pact with IndiaThe House voted overwhelmingly Saturday to approve a landmark pact that would allow the U.S. to provide nuclear materials to India.
The deal still faces major obstacles in the Senate, making prospects uncertain for passage before President Bush leaves office in January. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate would vote on the accord in the week ahead, possibly Monday.
The House approved the measure by 298-117 without debate in an unusual Saturday session. The accord reverses three decades of U.S. policy by shipping atomic fuel to India in return for international inspections of India's civilian reactors.
Critics say the initiative sends the wrong message to countries like Iran as they pursue atomic programs. India built its bombs outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which provides civilian nuclear trade in exchange for a pledge from nations not to pursue nuclear weapons.
India has refused to sign nonproliferation agreements and has faced a nuclear trade ban since its first atomic test in 1974.
The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group of countries that supply nuclear material and technology agreed this month to lift the ban on civilian nuclear trade with India after contentious talks and some concessions to countries fearful it could set a dangerous precedent. [via msnbc.com]
Reflections on Pokhran IIOver at Verification, there is a series of posts commemorating the tenth anniversary of India and Pakistan's test series. Well worth checking out.
Here is a link to our Special Report on the events.
New Doubts for U.S.-India Nuclear Deal[Sorry for all the posts, but I been busy with the 'real' job.]
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has raised new doubts about a nuclear trade deal with the United States, telling President Bush by telephone on Monday night that his government was having "certain difficulties" finalizing it. The agreement is bitterly opposed by Mr. Singh's left-wing allies in Parliament, who maintain his government's majority there and argue against closer ties to the United States. [via New York Times]
U.S., India Finalize Nuclear DealThe United States and India agreed to terms Friday for their nuclear trade deal, Agence France-Presse reported.
"The agreement has been finalized but it awaits review by both governments," said Rahul Chhabra, a spokesman for the Indian Embassy in Washington, said following high-level talks here last week on the implementation agreement for the deal. The talks were extended into Friday as officials made headway through disputes that had stalled the agreement over the past several months.
India under the pact would have access to U.S. nuclear fuel and technology, in exchange for opening its civilian nuclear sites to international monitoring.
The deal would have to be approved by lawmakers in both countries, along with the international Nuclear Suppliers Group. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]
U.S.-Indian Nuclear Talks Produce No DealU.S.-Indian talks last week failed "to bridge the remaining gaps" between the nations’ efforts to conclude a nuclear trade agreement, an Indian spokesman said.
Technical experts from both countries met Monday and Tuesday in London to discuss solutions to the impasse that has stalled a U.S. effort to sell nuclear technology and materials to India. Indian officials have objected to some of the nuclear nonproliferation measures contained in a U.S. law enabling the deal.