US Congressman Pallone back nuclear accord

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Washington, Sep 26 (UNI) Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, who is the founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, last night urged fellow members to support the Indo-US nuclear deal before Congress adjourns this week.

The congressman from New Jersey, which has a sizeable Indian-American population, believes the agreement would benefit both nations' economies, reduce pressure on energy markets and strengthen the Indo-US strategic global partnership.

In a speech in the House of Representatives, he said the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver on the ban on nuclear trade with India paved the way for Congress to act swiftly to pass the nuclear deal into law.

''This deal will permit both countries to engage in shared civil nuclear research, development and commercial trade of technology and fuel, while guaranteeing safeguards on all civil nuclear material,'' Mr Pallone said.

He said the agreement would provide the foundation of a promising Indo-US alliance that would serve as a defence against terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

''The US has an important stake in ensuring regional stability in South Asia, even as Pakistan continues to produce and test nuclear weapons without proper safeguards. With uncertainty in Pakistan and the continuing influence of Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border, it is essential that India remain our strategic ally,'' he added.

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