N-deal step to partnership on non-proliferation: US
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 18:11
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 destruction.

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

First Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 18:11

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