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Finally, the deal is sealed!

December 23, 2006
History was made on December 18 at 10.45 am.

United States President George W Bush signed a new law that will allow the US to have nuclear trade with India.

Nearly 100 Indian-American community leaders and activists were present at the historic signing, along with several senior Bush administrational officers and Congressional aides including Nick Burns, the chief negotiating officer, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, and also several lobbyists who played a major role in pushing for the legislation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Parliament that the agreement will not hurt policy of the Department of Atomic Energy in pursuing research and development.

"Our strategic programme will respond to our own decisions and not be subjected to any international scrutiny," he said.

Seeking to allay the concerns in India with regard to the Indo-US deal, Bush said that his signing of the nuclear bill into law did not mean he endorsed all its contents and that he considered certain portions like restrictions on transfers as merely 'advisory.'

"Nuclear power is going to be the essential source of future electricity in the US and places like India and China," Bush said, adding, "It makes a lot of sense to share technology that will enable people to feel confident that nuclear plants built are safe."

Image: President Bush signs the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act, 2006.
Photograph: Paresh Gandhi

Also See:
Indo-US N-deal: Sealed, Signed deal
The people who swung the N-deal
The Indo-US Nuclear Tango
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