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News from USA: India in America

GOPIO SUPPORTS RATIFICATION OF THE NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

New York: Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) commends President George W. Bush for his bold decision on signing the proposed Nuclear Agreement with India. President Bush has rightly referred to it as "historic."  This Nuclear Deal has been hailed worldwide as a step in the right direction by the two great democracies. The British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the accord could "make a significant contribution to energy security as well as representing a net gain for the non-proliferation regime" while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Mohammed El Baradei said that the US-India deal would end Delhi's nuclear isolation and spur non-proliferation efforts. French President Jacques Chirac, who signed a similar deal with India earlier, said the agreement would help fight non-proliferation efforts.

"However, there exists some skepticism about the agreement reached by the two leaders in New Delhi but that may be due to lack of full understanding of the deal which by design is equitably beneficial to the US interests," observed Dr. Piyush Agrawal, National Coordinator of GOPIO.   " India deserves to be rewarded for being a responsible nuclear power with an impeccable record of a non-proliferator, " said Agrawal.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International was of the opinion that "the media and the supporters of the deal need to educate the public and the Congress that how this deal is in the best security interest of the US and world peace."

Mr. Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International said, "The landmark agreement should help India realize its goal of self-sufficiency in energy and also enhance energy security of the two countries."

GOPIO plans to conduct briefing sessions and educational forums throughout the USA to enunciate the mutual benefits of the proposed agreement with India and US. " We are also encouraging individuals and organizations to take an active role in supporting the proposed agreement, and meeting with their individual elected US representatives for prompt passage and approval by the Unites States Congress", said Secretary General of GOPIO Ashook Ramsaran.


Textile exports to USA
Textile and clothing imports by the United States from India increased by 25.93%, as compared to the corresponding preriod of previous year. Similarly, during January-September 2005, textile and clothing imports by European Union from India increased by 19.89% as compared to the corresponding period of previous year.


Nuclear Deal with India
US Under secretary of State for political affairs Nicholas Burns confidently predicted that the Deal “enjoys broad international support and will pass muster not only with Congress but also with the poweful Nuclear Suppliers Group that controls the flow of nuclear fuel and technology.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke informally over the phone to key US Congressmen. She intends to speak to senator Richrd Lugar, the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations commiee about the importance of the Deal. Mr. Burns described the deal as “a tremendous and positive gain” for both countries.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley has been briefing over the phone to American legislators who will have to amend the Atomic Energy Act 1954, among other legislative and legal processes required for the deal to become a formal civil nuclear cooperation agreement.


Top US Strategy Experts urge Congress to accept the Deal
Twenty three strategy experts have signed a letter urging Congress to accept the deal “to promote US strategic interests, US non-proliferation goals, US energy security and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming”.

They urge that “Failure to implement it would be a body blow to the development of the strong relationship with India so important to achieving US goals in Asia and beyond.”\

The letter was signed, among others, by well-known South Asia hands and diplomats like Selig G Harrison, director, Asia Program, Center for International Policy; Stephen P cohen, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Willian Clarke and Frank Wisner, former US ambassadors to India; Dennis Kux, senior scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and Karl Inderfurth, former Asst. secretary of state for South Asian affairs.

The letter, more a personal opinion than the institutional one, says, “The implementation of this agreement is necessary to promote a strategic partnership with a dynamic, self-reliant India that is playing an increasingly significant regional and global security role.”

The letter specially emphasises the role of “a strong, stable India” as a counterweight to a rising China and sees the new India-US strategic partnership necessary to the Asian balance of power. It explicitly says, “Against the background of China’s rise, including the projected expansion of its naval reach in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, a strong, stable India will advance the traditional US objective of an Asian balance of power in which no one nation is able to exercise overwhelming dominance.” The letter definitely rejects the notion that the Nuclear Deal with India is “an anti-Beijing security alliance.”

The letter says, “Since both the US and India are seeking constructive relations with China, neither Washington nor New Delhi wants their new partnership to become an anti-Beijing security alliance.” The letter pointedly refers to “a common strategic stake in combating Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and Central Asia.”

Admitting that previous US policy towards India was a “failure”, the letter urges the Congress, “This approach has failed becase India, a subcontinental giant with a middle class larger than the combined population of France, Germany and Britain, is endowed with a wealth of indigenous talent in science and technology and feels confident that it will achieve major power status with or without external help.”

The letter rejects the argument that the deal has undermined the nuclear non-proligeration treaty regime. It says,“Implementation of the US-India civil nuclear agreement will advance the objectives of the nuclear Nonprolifertion Treaty by opening the door to India,s participation in the global non-proliferation regime.”

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