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Democrat Engel to co-sponsor bill supporting Indo-US nuclear deal

Written by: Staff
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Washington, Apr 6 (UNI) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's testimony in support of the civil nuclear cooperation with India on Capitol Hill has finally got some support from the opposition Democrat party and Rep Eliot Engel, from New York, today announced that he will co-sponsor the bill, which would authorize the Civilian Nuclear deal.

He announced this in the House International Relations Committee and commended Secretary Rice for her testimony yesterday before the House International Relations Committee and ''for her hard work on promoting the Indo-US relationship.'' ''With your leadership, in recent days, we have been able to work with India in an unprecedented way. It is important to cooperate with India on civilian nuclear power as it has a huge and growing appetite for energy,'' Mr Engel said.

''This agreement will help diversify the Indian energy sector as we, ourselves, are trying to wean ourselves off of our addiction to oil due to the dangers of dependence on Middle Eastern and other sources of oil,'' he said in a press statement here today.

''This legislation, while I believe it could be improved, has many merits. I look forward to the Committee mark-up when we will improve upon the bill, and I think we can indeed make improvements, but until then, I would like to thank Secretary Rice and support her efforts,'' he said.

Mr Engel said, ''For years, the Indo-US relationship was cool at best. We found ourselves on opposite sides of many international questions. Not only do we share democratic values and systems of government, but we have similar interests and share a view of the world. We both seek stability, an end to terrorism, and a better relationship with Pakistan. I firmly believe that we should expand our ties with India, not just diplomatically, but in all other sectors as well,'' Mr Engel added.

UNI XC PM PA RAI2207

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