Washington, Sept 11 : U.S. President George W Bush has sent the text of his country's civil nuclear cooperation accord with India to the American Congress for final clearance.
The 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had on Saturday decided to lift a 34-year-old ban on nuclear trade with New Delhi, a crucial step to sealing the U.S.-India civilian nuclear agreement.
Bush said in a statement that the agreement would reinforce a growing bilateral relationship between two vibrant democracies.
"The United States is committed to a strategic partnership with India. The Agreement promises to be a major milestone in achieving and sustaining that goal,'' President George," Bush further said.
The White House said in a statement that it was transmitting the text of the agreement between the US and India "concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy".
The proposed agreement provides a comprehensive framework for US peaceful nuclear cooperation with India. It permits the transfer of information, non-nuclear material, nuclear material, equipment (including reactors) and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production.
"It does not permit transfers of any restricted data. Sensitive nuclear technology, heavy-water production technology and production facilities, sensitive nuclear facilities, and major critical components of such facilities may not be transferred under the agreement unless it is amended," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to India, David C Mulford, on Wednesday said in an interview to a television channel that New Delhi has the sovereign right to conduct nuclear tests and that this issue was never debated. He added that India has got a 'clean waiver' from the NSG to participate in global nuclear trade.
"It is not a correct interpretation that there will be a periodic review of the NSG waiver," clarified Mulford.
U.S. Secretary of State Ms. Condelezza Rice also held meetings with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, and discussed the modalities for a Congress nod for ratifying the 123 agreement before the end of the session on September 26.