BIDEN Hails Senate Passage of US-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the statement below immediately following the Senate's historic passage of the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, legislation authored by Senators Biden and Lugar:
"This bill is a victory for U.S.-India relations, which will increase the prospect for stability and progress in South Asia. It has become cliché to speak of the U.S. India relationship as a bond between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy, but it's also a fact. Shared political values are the foundation for our relationship, a firm belief in the dignity of man and the consent of the governed.
"This legislation allows civil nuclear cooperation with India to proceed and it starts to bring India into the global nuclear non-proliferation system. We have taken great care, moreover, to protect the role of Congress and of the international institutions that enforce nuclear non-proliferation.
"This agreement was the result of hard compromises - compromises between our two countries, and between the Executive and Legislative branches of government here in this country. The end result, however, was overwhelming bipartisan support, in both the House and the Senate. That level of broad, solid, bipartisan buy-in was absolutely essential when crafting legislation with such long-term impact on vital American interests.
"This U.S.-India agreement is also much more than just a nuclear deal. I believe historians will see this as part of the dramatic and positive departure in the U.S.-India relationship.
"But there is still much to be done in India, as a stable and secure India is very much in America's national interest. We should work to help India increase its energy production, combat terrorism, and guard against epidemics of infectious diseases. We should help both India and Pakistan to ease tensions between their countries and, someday, to walk back from the nuclear precipice.
"Lastly, India should continue its progress toward the front rank of world leaders, and especially of leaders in combating the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Approval of this agreement today helps both countries to keep moving on the path of cooperation for a better world."