No changes in content of 123 Agreement: Mulford

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New Delhi, Oct 2 : Celebrating the passage of Indo-US civil nuclear deal by a thumping majority of 86-13 votes in the Senate, US Ambassador to India David Mulford said on Thursday that it is a great day for both the democracies and deal has finally become a reality.

The US Congress today approved the Indo-US civil nuclear deal when the Senate overwhelmingly voted a Bill rejecting all the killer amendments, and paving the way for the implementation of the historic initiative between the two countries.

Replying to a question on the changes being made in the text of the deal in the Senate, Mulford said the 123 Agreement has been preserved and no amendment has been made to the content of the agreement.

He also pointed out that the deal was not made in commercial interests of the United States, but to support India to become a global power and strengthen the nonproliferation regime.

The deal will help India to diversify its energy base and create civil nuclear industry in the country, the US Ambassador said.

The finalisation of the deal was due to the good rapport enjoyed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush, he said

Mulford explained how Bush Administration pushed for the deal relentlessly ever since US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice proposed the civil nuclear deal in March 2005.

He termed the deal a vision of President George W Bush, and described how it will affect the strategic ties between both the countries.

The Senate voted for the civil nuclear deal on the day it considered the financial bailout package, shows Bush Administration's relentless pursuit of a strategic objective despite overwhelming domestic problem.

Terming ties with India as comprehensive, Mulford said sectors like health care, education, energy and various other areas besides civil nuclear, space, economic relations and foreign direct investment will see increased activity.

"We expect to be a major player in development of civil nuclear energy in India. US companies will make large scale investments if they get involved," he said.

Mulford also said that the US played a decisive role in getting India the NSG waiver, and described it as one of the greatest American diplomatic initiatives in recent times.

Commenting on the financial crisis in US, Mulford said that the way global system works today the financial crisis is not going to spill over to India, and added that there can be some fall out like slow down of foreign investments. .

The Indo-US nuclear deal is now ready for signature by Secretary of State Rice when she arrives in New Delhi on her rescheduled trip on Saturday with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee y Praful Kumar Singh

ANI

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