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UPDATED: 09:49, November 29, 2005
India, US reaffirm partnership in non-proliferation
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India and the United States on Monday repeated their resolve to be partners in global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and agreed to join hands to promote a more stable Asia.

"India is a partner in global non-proliferation efforts rather than a target of these efforts," Indo-Asian News Service quoted India's Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran as saying at the India Economic Summit.

US Undersecretary of Commerce David H. McCormick, here to co- chair a meeting of the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG), said the US-India civil nuclear energy pact "represented a significant step by confirming our joint commitment to playing a leading role internationally to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

Referring to the energy pact signed during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington in July, Saran said the agreement had radically transformed bilateral relations from one of "estrangement" to a "growing convergence of interests" between the two countries.

Placing the growing relations in a larger global context, Saran said, "There is a major realignment of forces in Asia. India and the US can contribute to a much better balance in the Asian region. "

The United States has stressed that the success of the civil nuclear energy deal depends on India's presentation of a "credible plan" for separating its civil and nuclear facilities before the Bush Administration pushes legislation in Congress to implement the historic agreement.

New Delhi has agreed to this, but emphasized that it will do the separation on its own and not accept any limitations on its strategic nuclear program.

McCormick, who is here on a week-long visit, will meet Indian officials to discuss recent developments in US export licensing policies for India's civil space and civil nuclear power programs.

Source: Xinhua

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