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Rediff.com  » News » PM, Bush agree on nuclear separation

PM, Bush agree on nuclear separation

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Last updated on: March 02, 2006 14:59 IST

India and the US have reached an understanding on the implementation of the civil nuclear cooperation agreed last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced on Thursday.

Addressing a joint press conference with US President George W Bush after their talks, Singh said the finalisation of identification of civilian facilities would begin.

US President George Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the joint press conference in New Delhi on Thursday morningDiscussions would be held with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the guidelines for brining the civilian nuclear reactors under its safeguards, he said.

The Prime Minister said the President has given an assurance that he would approach the US Congress for endorsing the deal.

Answering a question from Sheela Bhatt, Managing Editor, Rediff India Abroad -- who was also the first journalist to open the Q&A session of the joint press conference -- Singh said the two countries have "arrived at a mutually satisfactory understanding with regard to carrying forward the process" that was reached on July 18, 2005, between him and President Bush.

He said an important step forward is the preparation of a plan that separates civilian from nuclear military facilities and "it has been sucessfully completed."

"Now it is for the US government to go to its Congress and make necessary amendments to the laws (for implementing the deal) and to approach the Nuclear Suppliers Group for working the deal," he said.

India would also work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to work out the India-specific safeguards for its civilian nuclear facilities, he said.

"We have made a very satisfactory progress and I thank President Bush without whose initiative it would not have been possible," the prime minister said.

Endorsing the prime minister's remark on the nuclear deal, Bush said that "necessary" agreement had been reached and he would work with the US Congress in this regard.

Describing his discussion with Bush as "very cordial and productive", Singh said they reached a joint statement which underlines significant progress in the relationship between the two countries.

"Many of the areas we covered are central to India's national development. They include energy, agriculture, science and technology, trade, investment and high technology, health and environment," the prime minister said.

Singh also said a number of announcements and initiatives form part of the joint statement.

The prime minister said India and the US were working together increasingly on global issues which was not only good for the two countries but the entire world.

Observing that he along with Bush reviewed the global situation during the talks, Singh said both countries have agreed to root out terrorism, of which India has been a major victim.

In his remarks, Bush referred to sharing of common values and said the two sides would work to combat terrorism, bring about the rule of law and make the world a safer place to live in.

Describing India as one of its largest trading partners, he emphasised on enhancing of trade between the two countries and recalled the growing military ties between them. Bush also thanked the prime minister for the aid given to the US after the hurricane Katrina struck its coast.

The US President said the two countries stood for the establishment of democracy worldwide. Singh said the joint statement to be issued by both the sides contains a number of annoucements and initiatives in areas like energy, agriculture, science and technology, trade and investment, hi-technology, health and clean environment.

"This is a highly ambitious agenda, one that is befitting our growing strategic partnership. When implemented they will make a real difference to the lives of our people," he told reporters.

He said both the sides reviewed the global situation during the talks. "Our discussion today make me confident that there is no limit to the Indo-US partnership," he added.

Bush said both the sides had a "lengthy and constructive dialogue on a wide-range of issues".

"India and America have built a strategic partnership based upon common values, our two democracies respect religious pluralism and the rule of law. We seek to foster economic development through trade and advance the entrepreneurial spirit in both countries," he said.

Bush said India and America have faced terrorist attacks on their soil. "We are sharing information to protect each other. We have a common desire to enhance the security of our peoples. We are cooperating on the military front," he added.

Singh said the joint statement to be issued by both the sides contains a number of annoucements and initiatives in areas like energy, agriculture, science and technology, trade and investment, hi-technology, health and clean environment.

"This is a highly ambitious agenda, one that is befitting our growing strategic partnership. When implemented they will make a real difference to the lives of our people," he told reporters.

He said both the sides reviewed the global situation during the talks. "Our discussion today make me confident that there is no limit to the Indo-US partnerships," he added.

Bush said both the sides had a "lengthy and constructive dialogue on a wide-range of issues".

"India and America have built a strategic partnership based upon common values, our two democracies respect religious pluralism and the rule of law. We seek to foster economic development through trade and advancing the entrepreneurial spirit in both countries," he said.

Bush said India and America have faced terrorist attacks on their soil. "We are sharing information to protect each other. We have a common desire to enhance the security of our peoples. We are cooperating on the military front," he added.

India and the US agree on the "deplorable state of human rights" in Myanmar and in Nepal "we agree that Maoists should abandon violence and the King should reach out to political parties to restore democratic institutions."

"There should be discussions more than just friendly handshakes," he said.

"Trade and investment ties between India and the US are growing, we are partners in expanding global trade. United States is India's largest trading partner and India is one of the United States' fastest growing export markets.

"Trade is important for people and countries to develop and overcome poverty," Bush said.

Bush said India and the US have "concluded a historic agreement on nuclear power. It is not an easy job for the Prime Minister to achieve this agreement, I understand, it is not easy for the American President to achieve the agreement.

"But, it is a necessary agreement as long as it helps both our peoples. I applaud your courage and your leadership and look forward to change decades of law that will enable us to to move forward on this important initiative," he added.

About the India-Pakistan peace process, Bush said the two countries had an opportunity to work towards lasting peace.

"Prime Minister Singh and President [Pervez] Musharraf have shown themselves to be leaders of courage and
vision and I encourage them to continue making progress on all issues, including Kashmir.

"India and America are also partners in addressing HIV/AIDS and pandemic flu. I am confident the relationship between India and the US is good for the United States of America and I hope it is good for the people of India," he said.

Replying to a query on India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, Bush said, "We support United
Nations Security Council reforms. While we are interested in different ways to reform the United Nations, my concern all along has been, however, if we only stick to United Nations Security Council we will miss the opportunity to reform the whole of the United Nations."

"We are open-minded and are listening... But we do not want the Security Council reforms not to cause other
reform measures go forward," he said.

Complete Coverage: President Bush in India

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