'US-Indo nuke deal will strengthen international peace'
Washington, Mar 21: The civilian nuclear agreement reached by the United States and India 'promises to make a seminal contribution to international peace and prosperity', according to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
He has welcomed the agreement as ''an unprecedented level of cooperation and interdependence between the two powers''.
''In a period preoccupied with concerns over terrorism and the potential clash of civilisations, the emerging cooperation between the two great democracies, India and the US, introduces a positive and hopeful perspective,'' said Mr Kissinger who served as Secretary of State to then President Richard Nixon, between 1973 and 1977.
''Too often America's India policy is justified as a way to contain China. But the reality has been that so far, India and America have found it in their interest to maintain a constructive relationshiop with China,'' Kissinger wrote in the Washington Post yesterday.
''America's global strategy benefits from the Indian participation in building a new world order. But India will not serve as America's foil with China, and will resent any attempts to use it in that role,'' he added.
Kissinger suggested that the scope of the nuclear cooperation should avoid the rhetoric and the reality of a nuclear arms race in which China could be tempted to support nuclear programmes in Iran and Pakistan as a counter-weight.
The goal should be an Asia that navigates between an unacceptable hegemony by any power and an arms race that replicates in Asia the tragedies of Europe, only with fiercer weapons and even vaster consequences, he added.
The US-Indo nuclear deal, reached by US President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gives energy-starved India access to long-denied civilian nuclear technology in return for placing a majority of its nuclear reactors under international safeguards.