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N-deal step to partnership on non-proliferation: US

The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal has opened up new pathways for partnership between the two countries on non-proliferation issues globally, the White House said today.

Washington: The Indo-US civilian nuclear
deal has opened up new pathways for partnership between the
two countries on non-proliferation issues globally, the White
House said today.

"Civil nuclear cooperation with India has opened new
pathways for a strengthened US-India partnership on
nonproliferation issues globally," National Security Council
spokesman Benjamin Chang told news agencies.

"We look forward to continuing to pursue our commonly
held energy security, non-proliferation, and strategic
objectives as we join with India to provide strong and dynamic
leadership in the international community," Benjamin said,
after US President Barack Obama transmitted today to the US
Congress his first report on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

"The report covers the period of October 4, 2008, to
June 30, 2009. It provides an update on US-India civil nuclear
cooperation and developments that relate to India`s
nuclear-related activities," Obama wrote to chairman and
ranking members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

However, the content of the report was not made
public, as Obama wrote to them: "Classified information
associated with these issues has been provided in a separate
classified annex."

The report also includes updates on joint efforts by
India and the US to prevent the spread of weapons of mass

This is the first report issued by Obama since the
entry into force of the 123 Agreement in December last year.
The report is being offered pursuant to the reporting
requirements of the Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful
Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 and the United
States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation
Enhancement Act of 2008, the latter being the approval
legislation for the 123 Agreement.

‘Clinton visit fruitful’

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s just concluded visit to India has resulted in significant expansion of the bilateral and multilateral relationship between the two nations, according to a senior US official.

"What you are seeing in terms of the agenda is a very significant expansion of the relationship and the issues that will be subject to our bilateral and multilateral relationships going forward," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley told reporters Monday.

The agreements announced by Clinton and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna reflect "an expanding and significant agenda", he said, noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama for a state visit in November.

Denying a suggestion that Clinton was trying to send some signal by keeping her meetings with Indian government leaders for the third day of her visit Crowley said: "I don`t think so at all."

"I do not think there is a cookie cutter approach here," he said. "What the schedule reflects is the secretary`s commitment to have a broad-based engagement not just with the government officials but also with civil society and entrepreneurs, as she did over the weekend."

"There`s no message being sent here at all," he said.

IANS input

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