US senate may take up Indo-US N-deal on Oct 1

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Washington, Oct 1: The Senate may take up the US-India nuclear cooperation agreement on Wednesday, Oct 1 which was approved by the House of Representatives last week by a 298-117 vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who gave this indication on Tuesday, Sep 30, said differences over the issue among the Senators had been resolved, paving the way for its consideration. He also said the Senate would consider two amendments seeking to deal with objections about continued nuclear cooperation should India conduct another nuclear test. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also expressed the hope that the accord would pass the final legislative hurdle and ''solidify'' ties with India.

Talking to mediapersons, she, however, was unable to say whether the agreement would be taken up on Wednesday, Oct 1 as stated by Senator Reid. ''I certainly hope that it can get done, because it would be a landmark agreement for India and the US,'' Ms Rice said. The agreement, signed by US President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2005, offers India access to nuclear technology and fuel in return for New Delhi accepting international inspection on its non-military nuclear facilities.

If the accord goes ahead in the Senate, it would lift the 34-year-old global ban on the sale of nuclear technology to India. New Delhi attracted the sanction after it had tested its first nuclear device in 1974.


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