UNITED STATES-INDIA NUCLEAR COOPERATION APPROVAL AND NONPROLIFERATION ENHANCEMENT ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 26, 2008)
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to yield myself 4 minutes.
I rise in strong support of this bill to approve the U.S.-India Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. I've been a strong supporter of this increased cooperation between the United States and India, including peaceful nuclear cooperation.
I was an original cosponsor of the Henry Hyde U.S.-India Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Act, which laid the foundation for the agreement that we are seeking to implement this week. I have worked hard to secure bipartisan support for that legislation and for the agreement on nuclear cooperation.
To ensure that legislation bringing the nuclear agreement into force could be adopted by the Congress this week, I introduced, with the support of our Republican leadership, H.R. 7039, which is an identical version of the text now before the Senate and the text that Chairman Howard Berman introduced last night and that we are considering right now.
Mr. Speaker, the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is not one that we would offer to just any nation. It is a venture we would enter into only with our most trusted democratic allies. I believe that stronger economic, scientific, diplomatic, and military cooperation between the United States and India is in the national interest of both countries and that our increasingly close relationship will be the central factor determining the course of global events in this century.
Among the most important elements of this new relationship is India's commitment to cooperate with the United States on major issues such as stopping the spread of nuclear weapons material and technology to groups and to countries of concern.
In particular, Mr. Speaker, this nuclear cooperation agreement is essential in continuing to ensure India's active involvement in dissuading, isolating and, if necessary, sanctioning and containing Iran for its efforts to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapon capabilities and the means to deliver these deadly weapons.
It will also help secure India's full participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative, including a formal commitment to the Statement of Interdiction Principles, and it will be a major step forward in achieving a moratorium by India, Pakistan and China on the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosives.
In addition, in order to meet the requirements of the Hyde Act, India and the International Atomic Energy Agency have negotiated a safeguards agreement on several Indian nuclear facilities that will expand the ability of the IAEA to monitor nuclear activities in that country.
Mr. Speaker, these are but a few of the many benefits from our nuclear cooperation with India and the strategic cooperation between our two countries that have already taken root. I am gratified that we are finally considering this legislation so that Congress can approve it without delay.
I urge my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to approve this nuclear cooperation agreement with India overwhelmingly. By doing so, the United States and India will embrace one another in a strategic partnership that will prove to be one of the most principal guarantors of the security and prosperity of both countries in this new century.
I reserve the balance of our time.
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