Washington, July 19
The joint statement India and the United States have issued at the end of the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush is of far-reaching importance. It virtually recognises India as a nuclear state, if not declare it as a nuclear weapon state.
In effect, this means that India will get nuclear fuel for its Tarapur Atomic Power Plant and other nuclear power reactors and also gain access to dual technologies that had been barred to India by the US, which imposed sanctions following the 1998-Pokharan nuclear test.
The statement means that the United States recognises that, for all practical purposes, India will have the same benefits as any nuclear state. India has also undertaken responsibilities and obligations as any other nuclear state, a senior Indian official said explaining the implications of the joint statement.
“We will accept only those conditionalities as any other nuclear state”, he added, to emphasise that the rights and obligations of India are the same as of any other nuclear power.
He made it clear that the United States has committed itself to take all steps to ease restrictions that had stopped the flow of nuclear fuel and technologies for India’s peaceful nuclear programme, space research and other sensitive areas.
The joint statement virtually means that the price India has been paying for the 1998 nuclear tests at Pokharan all these years no longer needs to be paid. The status India has gained after the 1998 tests has been accepted by implication.
In return, India has also given a commitment that even if it has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it will not pass on nuclear material or technology to any other country.
“India has an impeccable record as a responsible state and about non-proliferation,” the senior Indian official said maintaining that in future also India will always remain a responsible nation. President Bush has recognised that India is a responsible nuclear state, he maintained.
The statement makes it clear that President Bush will seek agreement from the US Congress to adjust US laws and policies to suit the changed situation.
The US will also work with friends and allies, (apparently members of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group), “to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to, expeditious consideration of the supplies of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapore.”
In return, the Prime Minister conveyed that “India would reciprocally agree that it would be ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States.”
These responsibilities and practices consist of identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programmes in a phased manner and filing a declaration regarding its civilian facilities with the IAEA, taking a decision to place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.
The joint statement commits India to its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, and working with the US for multilateral Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty.
India will also adhere to MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Guidelines.
The following is the text of the joint statement:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush today declare their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership. As leaders of nations committed to the values of human freedom, democracy and rule of law, the new relationship between India and the United States will promote stability, democracy, prosperity and peace throughout the world. It will enhance our ability to work together to provide global leadership in areas of mutual concern and interest.
Building on their common values and interests, the two leaders resolve:
• To create an international environment conducive to promotion of democratic values, and to strengthen democratic practices in societies which wish to become more open and pluralistic.
• To combat terrorism relentlessly. They applaud the active and vigorous counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries and support more international efforts in this direction. Terrorism is a global scourge and the one we will fight everywhere.
The two leaders strongly affirm their commitment to the conclusion by September of a UN comprehensive convention against international terrorism.
The Prime Minister’s visit coincides with the completion of the next steps in strategic partnership (NSSP) initiative, launched in January 2004.
The two leaders agree that this provides the basis for expanding bilateral activities and commerce in space, civil nuclear energy and dual-use technology.
Drawing on their mutual vision for the U.S.-India relationship, and our joint objectives as strong long-standing democracies, the two leaders agree on the following:
For the economy
• Revitalize the U.S.-India economic dialogue and launch a CEO Forum to harness private sector energy and ideas to deepen the bilateral economic relationship.
• Support and accelerate economic growth in both countries through greater trade, investment, and technology collaboration.
• Promote modernisation of India’s infrastructure as a prerequisite for the continued growth of the Indian economy. As India enhances its investment climate, opportunities for investment will increase.
• Launch a U.S.-India knowledge initiative on agriculture focused on promoting teaching, research, service and commercial linkages.
For energy and the environment
• Strengthen energy security and promote the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India with a view to ensuring adequate, affordable energy supplies and conscious of the need for sustainable development. These issues will be addressed through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue.
• Agree on the need to promote the imperatives of development and safeguarding the environment, commit to developing and deploying cleaner, more efficient, affordable, and diversified energy technologies.
For democracy and development
• Develop and support, through the new U.S.-India global democracy initiative in countries that seek such assistance, institutions and resources that strengthen the foundations that make democracies credible and effective. India and the U.S. will work together to strengthen democratic practices and capacities and contribute to the new U.N. Democracy Fund.
• Commit to strengthen cooperation and combat HIV/AIDs at a global level through an initiative that mobilizes private sector and government resources, knowledge, and expertise.
For non-proliferation and security
• Express satisfaction at the new framework for the U.S.-India defence relationship as a basis for future cooperation, including in the field of defence technology.
• Commit to play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. welcomed the adoption by India of legislation on WMD (Prevention of Unlawful Activities Bill).
• Launch a new U.S.-India disaster relief initiative that builds on the experience of the Tsunami Core Group, to strengthen cooperation to prepare for and conduct disaster relief operations.
For high-technology and space
• Sign a science and technology framework agreement, building on the U.S.-India high-technology cooperation group (HTCG), to provide for joint research and training, and the establishment of public-private partnerships.
• Build closer ties in space exploration, satellite navigation and launch, and in the commercial space arena through mechanisms such as the U.S.-India Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.
• Building on the strengthened nonproliferation commitments undertaken in the NSSP, to remove certain Indian organisations from the Department of Commerce’s entity list.
Recognising the significance of civilian nuclear energy for meeting growing global energy demands in a cleaner and more efficient manner, the two leaders discussed India’s plans to develop its civilian nuclear energy program.
President Bush conveyed his appreciation to the Prime Minister over India’s strong commitment to preventing WMD proliferation and stated that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, India should acquire the same benefits and advantages as other such states.
The President told the Prime Minister that he will work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India as it realizes its goals of promoting nuclear power and achieving energy security. The President would also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies, and the United States will work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India, including but not limited to expeditious consideration of fuel supplies for safeguarded nuclear reactors at Tarapur.
In the meantime, the United States will encourage its partners to also consider this request expeditiously. India has expressed its interest in ITER and a willingness to contribute. The United States will consult with its partners considering India’s participation. The United States will consult with the other participants in the Generation IV International Forum with a view toward India’s inclusion.
The Prime Minister conveyed that for his part, India would reciprocally agree that it would be ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States.
These responsibilities and practices consist of identifying and separating civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner and filing a declaration regarding its civilians facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); taking a decision to place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards; signing and adhering to an Additional Protocol with respect to civilian nuclear facilities; continuing India’s unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing; working with the United States for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty; refraining from transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not have them and supporting international efforts to limit their spread; and ensuring that the necessary steps have been taken to secure nuclear materials and technology through comprehensive export control legislation and through harmonisation and adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines.
The President welcomed the Prime Minister’s assurance. The two leaders agreed to establish a working group to undertake on a phased basis in the months ahead the necessary actions mentioned above to fulfill these commitments. The President and Prime Minister also agreed that they would review this progress when the President visits India in 2006
The two leaders also reiterated their commitment that their countries would play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons.
In light of this closer relationship, and the recognition of India’s growing role in enhancing regional and global security, the Prime Minister and the President agree that international institutions must fully reflect changes in the global scenario that have taken place since 1945. The President reiterated his view that international institutions are going to have to adapt to reflect India’s central and growing role. The two leaders state their expectations that India and the United States will strengthen their cooperation in global forums.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanks President Bush for the warmth of his reception and the generosity of his hospitality. He extends an invitation to President Bush to visit India at his convenience and the President accepts that invitation.
Washington, July 19