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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Prime Minister strongly advocates Indo-US nuclear deal

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, June 11, IRNA
India-Nuke Deal-PM
Strongly advocating the Indo-US nuclear deal, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh Wednesday said that the agreement is crucial for ending nuclear apartheid against India.

Addressing IFS (Indian Foreign Service) probationers at his residence in New Delhi, he expressed hope that progress will be made in the coming months in this direction even though it has run into some difficulties.

Maintaining that the deal will open up new possibilities of cooperation not only with the US but with other nuclear powers like Russia and France, Dr. Singh said without the agreement trade in dual technologies cannot become a reality.

The Prime Minister made it clear that the civil nuclear agreement protects India's national interest besides its capacity to use nuclear power. He said the agreement on the one hand protects New Delhi's strategic interests and on the other opens up new opportunities for civilian nuclear cooperation.

Dr Manmohan Singh said that it is for the first time Washington appreciated that India is a nuclear weapons state and has the right to develop nuclear power to protect it's strategic interests. He said this is despite the fact that India is not a signatory to the NPT and has also made it clear it will also not sign CTBT even if comes into force.

Dr. Singh said there is no pressure from the US on India to sign the NPT or any other international arrangement of that sort to enter into nuclear cooperation for civil energy.

The Left parties, extending outside support to the government, are strongly opposing implementation of the deal. They argue that the implementation of the deal will compromise the country's security interest and independent foreign policy.

The Prime Minister said India has to recognize that there will be increasing competition from China and those who are well entrenched in the energy sector.

Dr. Singh also envisioned a whole new role for Bollywood, noting India's 'soft power', especially the film industry, can be put to use as an important instrument of foreign policy. He said soft power is equally important in the new world of diplomacy.


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