ibnlive » India

Oct 03, 2008 at 02:19am IST

India inches closer to resuming nuke trade

New Delhi: The contents of 123 agreement has been preserved says David Mulford, the US Ambassador to India. Mulford was speaking to CNN-IBN's Deputy Foreign Affairs Editor, Suhasini Haidar.

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Suhasini Haidar: Would you call it a clean legislation?

Mulford: Yes, I would. It is the same 123 agreement that we negotiated and it was subjected to an up or down vote. It is always possible in the US Congress for additional points to be made, but they are not a part of the binding instrument that governs relations between the two countries. They are important, I am not saying that they are not! But the 123 agreement faithfully abides by the outlines of the visionary statements made by President Bush and Prime Minister Singh in July 05, in Washington.

Suhasini Haidar: How soon are we expecting actual nuclear commerce between the two countries?

Mulford: Well, first of all, the 123 agreement will need to be signed. And then to activate the process of commercial trade, India will have to execute its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. Once those two things are done, then we will be open for business. There will undoubtedly some time required for people to gear up, negotiate contracts and so on.

The journey of the deal so far:

The US Senate gave a thumbs-up to the Indo-US nuclear accord. India and the US are all set to ink the historic 123 Agreement on Saturday, October 4. This will be the final step after over three years of tortuous negotiations between the two nations and within their Houses. India is all set to restore civil nuclear trade with the US.

It is believed that the 123 pact will be formally signed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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