N-deal will help India launch second Green Revolution: Rice

By Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington : The India-US civil nuclear deal will help New Delhi meet its people’s economic aspirations by launching a second Green Revolution, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said here Thursday.

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Opening a US sponsored meeting of major economies, she cited the agreement as an example of partnerships it has forged with developing countries “to overcome the challenge of climate change and transform our world”.

“With India, we have negotiated an agreement to open a path of cooperation on civil nuclear energy and technology,” Rice said without referring to the storm it has run into in New Delhi with opposition from the Indian government’s left supporters.

“Once finalised, this agreement will help one of the world’s fastest growing energy consumers to meet its people’s economic aspirations by launching a second Green Revolution,” she said.

Similarly with Brazil, the US is working to tap the enormous potential of biofuels – both to meet its energy needs and to help developing nations in the Americas to meet theirs, Rice said.

“And in Asia, we helped to bring the two largest developing countries, China and India, together with other regional states to form the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate,” she said.

“Working with major global leaders of private industry, our governments are seeking to share new energy technologies that can fuel economic development and that is both sustainable and environmentally sound,” she said.

Rice met India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New York Wednesday, but neither side would say whether the nuclear deal figured in their discussions.

Mukherjee, officials said, was returning to the United Nations after lunch and no other bilateral meeting was planned in Washington. However, he may well have informal exchanges with other participants at the climate change meeting.

On the New York meeting, Indian side stuck to the usual formulation: “The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations across the gamut of items of cooperation. They also considered the international situation, and exchanged views on issues of concern.”

There was no word from the US side but several officials have of late suggested that the nuclear deal should be completed “sooner or later but sooner the better”, lest the Congressional clock for it runs out as the 2008 US presidential election campaign heats up.