Home India News N-deal will pass, but India may have to wait: Giuliani

N-deal will pass, but India may have to wait: Giuliani

By Parveen Chopra and Manish Chand, IANS,

New York : The US Congress will pass the India-US civil nuclear deal, but not by the time Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President George Bush in the White House Thursday, said Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor who bid for Republican nomination for president.

“It is not a partisan issue and has support among both Democrats and Republicans,” Giuliani told IANS in his Times Square office Wednesday at a briefing arranged by hotelier Sant Chatwal, a long-time friend of the mayor and a Democrat backer.

As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday approved the agreement and sent it to Congress, Giuliani underlined that the deal will be a big achievement for Manmohan Singh as well as for Bush.

When passed it will become a strong pillar on which the long-term, constructive relationship between the US and India can be built, Giuliani, who is expected to get an important position in case John McCain becomes president, said.

It is enormously valuable for both the countries, he said. India will get nuclear energy while it will bring a business opportunity for the US. The deal is expected to generate billions of dollars in business for the US and thousands of jobs for Americans.

Since 2005 when the deal was initiated, the Republican leader said: “The Indians’ attitude towards the US has changed. They now feel that US understands us and trusts us and what we have to do.”

Giuliani called the nuclear deal as Bush’s Nixon moment.

“Though unacknowledged by the US media, President Bush has done much good for the country. Down the years, he will be remembered, in a mini way, for the deal with India the way President Nixon is remembered for opening up to China,” Giuliani said while recalling his own trip to India in 2006 when he visited Mumbai and Delhi.

“Of course, unlike in the case of China, India and US are already friends. But this deal takes the relationship to a whole new level, it institutionlises that relationship,” he said.

Calling himself a big supporter of nuclear power, Giuliani said while India is going for nuclear power and China is setting up 40 nuclear power plants, America (which meets only 20 percent of its energy need from nuclear compared to 80 percent for France) is only scratching its head.

This is because of the fear of nuclear energy following the 1979 meltdown at the nuclear power plant in Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, which caused no fatalities but came soon after ‘The China Syndrome’ movie, and the disastrous 1986 Chernobyl accident in the then Soviet Russia. But, he said, “we have to go beyond fear and take rational risk.”

Linking the nuclear deal with outsourcing, Giuliani said India will be outsourcing nuclear power generation to the US. “I don’t take the narrow view. Outsourcing actually helps the economy. Many businesses save money by outsourcing work or jobs and from the saved money often hire local people.”

Sant Chatwal too expressed full confidence that the nuclear deal will be passed by Congress.

“This is a momentous occasion and a giant stride to bring sustainable development to the people of India, and of strengthening the bond that US and India share as the world’s oldest and largest democracies,” he said.