In a rare display of bipartisan support for the India-United States civilian nuclear agreement, former mayor of New York City and Republican leader Rudy Giuliani pledged his full support for the deal on Wednesday after a discussion with Chairman of Indian Americans for Democrats Sant Chatwal.
"Getting it (Indo-US Nuclear Treaty) concluded will be one of the strong pillars on which a long term Indo-US relationship could be built," Giuliani said in response to a question from rediff.com during an interaction with just three Indian American media representatives at his office in Times Square.
"I had made two trips to India, the last one being in 2006, and both the (trips) were eye-opening in terms of how India has made progress," Giuliani said.
"I think this deal is enormously valuable for both India and the US," he said, adding that there was a discernible change in the attitude of people in India towards US.
In response to another question as to what would the US gain from the agreement, he said there are many things that would benefit both the countries.
'The first thing that the US gets is a country, a democracy, which is expanding in the area of nuclear power and Americans will be able to do some of the businesses there," he said.
"We are one of the countries, along with France, who have the most expertise on nuke power. This is a wonderful initiative by the US in doing business with India, a country which we have a lot of business relationships with,' Giuliani said.
The deal will also help an ally to deal with energy crisis as India is currently in a very difficult position, he pointed out.
The mediapersons asked him whether the agreement will offset criticisms in the US about outsourcing of jobs as the deal is expected to create thousands of jobs in America
'I think there will be some degree of criticism as far as outsourcing is concerned. (But) That is a narrow view that does not see how its helps our economy. But as compared to the 2000 presidential election campaign vis-a-vis today, it was a much bigger issue at that time than it is now. John Kerry made it a very big issue. He attacked the insurance companies because they have gone to Bermuda because (of lower) taxes there and also in countries like India,' he said.
"It is very interesting that right through my (Presidential) campaign in the south, we thought sometimes there would be some issues about outsourcing. But there was tremendous support for global economies (from people).
"Companies from China to India are coming here in the US and doing businesses here. This is how intricately connected we are. I think the criticism about outsourcing is still there but it is declining. 'People understand that this is a necessary transition into the global market place," the former mayor said.
Giuliani exuded optimism that the nuclear agreement was going to be approved, but added that there was bound to be some opposition.
'There are people who believe that nuke power almost should not exist. But beyond that this is not a partisan issue. It is a big achievement for your Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, something that I think he alone could have done,' he said.
"I think it is also a big achievement for President George W Bush. Unfortunately, the American press would not give him the credit for the good things that he has done," he said.
"But I think five or six years from now this is going to be seen as similar to Nixon doing business with China, except that it is a mini version," he said.
"As in this case, we are already doing business with each other. We already have forged a relationship, but this will institutionalise the relationship," he said.
Did Giuliani and Chatwal, who are from opposing political camps, see any irony in them supporting the same agreement?
'Not at all. We have been friends for the past 30 years. We are old friends," Chatwal said.
Quipped Giuliani, 'The issue is all about bipartisan cooperation. Yes, there are some Republicans and Democrats who do not support the agreement but as I said, it is a bipartisan issue."