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Hello Washington: India-US Civilian Nuclear Treaty: Importance & Impact


U.S. President George Bush has signed into law a landmark agreement opening up civilian nuclear trade between the United States and India.

At a ceremony in Washington Wednesday, Mr. Bush said the measure celebrates the growing ties between the world's two largest democracies.

He said the deal sends a signal to the world that the United States will befriend nations that are democratic and responsible.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now expected to meet with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday to sign the agreement.

The deal ends a 34-year ban on nuclear trade with India -- allowing the U.S. to share civilian nuclear technology and material with New Delhi in exchange for India opening some of its nuclear facilities to U.N. inspection.

The U.S. ban was put into place after India first tested nuclear weapons in 1974. The country has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

U.S. lawmakers approved the agreement last week.

Some U.S. lawmakers who opposed the new pact say there are not sufficient safeguards to prevent India from diverting nuclear fuel from civilian use to its weapons program. Indian officials say they are committed to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Our distinguished guests were Dr. Jayanta Ray, Dr. Sreeradha Datta and Mr. Anjan Bosu.

Dr. Jayanta Ray Retd, Centenary Professor of International Relations and former Director, South and South East Asian

Studies, Calcutta University is also the Chairman, Executive Committee, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata.

Dr. Sreeradha Datta is a Research Fellow, Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis, New Delhi, India.

Mr. Anjan Bosu, a veteran commentator and Executive Editor of "Dainik Pratidin", leading Bengali daily of Kolkata.

Asim Chakrabarty hosted the show.

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