Civilian Nuclear Cooperation with India
November 17, 2006
Yesterday's 85-12 vote in the U.S. Senate in favor of legislation permitting civilian nuclear cooperation between the United States and India is a major milestone in U.S.-India relations. The legislation is still has a long way to go; House and Senate versions of the bill have to be reconciled, re-passed, and signed by the President. And there are four further steps before cooperation becomes a reality: negotiation of a U.S.-India cooperation agreement, ratification of this agreement by the U.S. Congress, negotiation of a framework agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and obtaining the assent of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG). But this still presents India with a huge opportunity to show that it is prepared to be part of the solution to the difficult problem of nuclear proliferation.