Bush to sign U.S.-India nuclear bill

By Xinhua,

Washington : U.S. President George W. Bush will sign into law on Wednesday a bill approved by Congress allowing civilian U.S. nuclear trade with India, Bush’s spokesman Carlton Carroll said Tuesday.

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“The president looks forward to signing this bill into law and continuing to strengthen the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership,” Carroll said in a statement.

“This legislation will strengthen our global nuclear nonproliferation efforts, protect the environment, create jobs, and assist India in meeting its growing energy needs in a responsible manner.”

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, and India’s ambassador to Washington Ronen Sen are expected to attend the ceremony.

Washington and New Delhi reached an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation in March 2006, under which India will get access to U.S. civil nuclear technology on condition that India is to separate nuclear facilities for civilian and military use and open its nuclear facilities for inspection.

Following India’s approval of the deal in July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the agreement on Sept. 27. Prior to the approvals, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) agreed early this month to lift a nuclear trade embargo on India.

On Aug. 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed to sign a nuclear safeguards agreement with India, a move seen as giving the green light to India-U.S. nuclear cooperation.