Washington, Oct 11: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday night indicated that it would not mind the United States entering a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan.
At a press conference, after signing the bilateral 123 Agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Mukherjee said, "We believe every country has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." Mukherjees statement was in response to a question asked about Islamabad's demand for an India-like nuclear deal with the US. "We will like to encourage civil nuclear cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy," said Mukherjee.
India is determined to build good relations with Pakistan and is trying to resolve all outstanding issues between them through their composite dialogue process, said Mukherjee in reply to another question about Pakistan's apprehensions about the nuclear deal.
The Foreign Minister further said that India's commitment to non-proliferation is second to none while recalling that on September 5 he had reiterated New Delhi's commitment to a unilateral voluntary moratorium to nuclear tests declared in 1998 after India conducted five tests at Pokhran.
India and the United States signed the 123 Agreement in Washington on Friday night, paving the way for nuclear commerce between the two countries.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice formally signed the landmark bilateral nuclear cooperation accord.