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US bodies urge lawmakers to approve N-deal

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Last updated on: September 24, 2008 00:56 IST

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with President George Bush on September 25 in Washington when the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement may likely come through, two of the largest American organisations have sent letters to Congressmen urging them to approve the 'historic' agreement.

The American Jewish Committee, a powerful Jewish group with more than 150,000 members in the US, urged US Senators and Representatives to approve the agreement, also known as 123 Agreement, saying it believes that the overarching benefit of this agreement is strategic. 

'In the last decade, after almost 50 years of misunderstanding, India and the United States have pursued a path of rapidly increasing cooperation that includes counter-terrorism and regional security efforts, and touches on many sectors -- political, commercial, scientific and educational,' AJC, which has been advocating in support of the agreement for the last three years, said.

In a similar show of support the US Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, sent a letter to all members of the House and Senate reiterating its support for the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

According to the chamber, sensitive issues relating to non-proliferation have been carefully considered and unanimously resolved by the 35 governors of the IAEA and the 45 member nations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Noting that with India's 34-year nuclear isolation was now history it said the opportunity for US companies today is tremendous, with a potential $150 billion of new investment. 'If US companies are allowed to compete, a modest share of that business could support 250,000 high-tech American jobs.

The AJC said that with a population of more than one billion and an expanding economy, India offers the United States a stable, democratic partner in Asia, as well as significant trade and investment opportunities. 'The US-India nuclear agreement will advance this growing relationship, and is profoundly in America's national interest,' it said.
Suman Guha Mozumder