Washington, Sep 7: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned that time is 'very short' to get clearance for the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal in the Congressional session, which begins on Monday. Hailing the waiver given by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Rice said: "The first thing is that we still have a little more to do on the determinations for the Hyde Act, and we will try to complete that."
Rice made this statement at a round table with the travelling press in Algiers. "We understand that the time is very short. We knew that in the summer, when the Indians were able finally to move this forward in their domestic process. But I think we have demonstrated the commitment of the administration to this agreement, because we have worked this with the very, very strong help of partners through the IAEA and through the NSG in very rapid order." Rice added.
"I don't think most people thought that we were going to be able to get this through the NSG this weekend," she further said.
Meanwhile in India, citizens hailed the nuclear nations' approval for trade waiver.
Terming the clearing of the deal by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna as major achievement for the country, a former Indian Government spokesman said a "door has been opened for India after nearly three decades to pursue its quest for peaceful nuclear energy."
"The clearing of the Indo-US nuclear deal by the NSG is a major achievement for India. Firstly, it took over three years for the Government of India to get all sections of the people in the country to agree that the nuclear deal was in the interest of the country. It was approved by the Indian parliament.
When it went to the NSG, there was concern whether the group will able to reach a consensus. Now that a consensus has been reached, the door has been opened for India after nearly three decades to pursue its quest for peaceful nuclear energy," said I Ram Mohan Rao, former Principal Information Officer, Government of India.
The global atomic cartel on Saturday decided to lift a 34-year-old ban on nuclear trade with New Delhi, a crucial step to sealing a controversial US-India civilian nuclear accord.
After two weeks of feverish meetings and long-distance consultations, resistance to the exemption finally crumbled when six holdout states reluctantly accepted an External affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's declaration on Friday reinforcing a commitment to a voluntary test moratorium.
Intense US pressure for the waiver involved overnight phone calls to Presidents and Prime Ministers of holdout countries, several diplomats said.
Six NSG nations had been demanding a clause stipulating an automatic cessation of the waiver if India tested another bomb.
After Mukherjee's statement, the holdout group splintered as Norway, The Netherlands and Switzerland indicated they could accept more limited language, diplomats said. Ireland, Austria and New Zealand fell into line on Saturday, Sep 6.