In a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in India, Ambassador David Mulford said, "The United States welcomes the support in the Indian Parliament for the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative."
First announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George Bush in July 2005, the Initiative is among the most important initiatives that India and the U.S. have undertaken together in their more than sixty-year relationship. Through the Initiative, the U.S. will help India gain access to the international nuclear fuel market and support an Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of nuclear supply over the lifetime of its reactors. The agreement in no way supports India's nuclear weapons program. It is aimed solely at helping India develop more nuclear power for civilian use, and will help India meet its growing energy needs in an environmentally-friendly way.
To make this a reality, India has negotiated a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, to cover its nuclear facilities. With support from the United States, India is also seeking consensus from the forty-five member Nuclear Suppliers Group to allow India access to international trade in nuclear materials. Ambassador Mulford said the U.S. Government and the Government of India will work closely in the days ahead for a rapid completion of the actions that need to be taken by the IAEA Board of Governors and by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
In proceeding with this Initiative, the Indian Government has taken a bold step forward.
The U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative will bring India into the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream by submitting its entire civil program to international inspection.
U.S. State Department Acting Spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said the United States looks forward "to continuing to work with the government of India to move forward the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative."