Washington, DC — With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today approving the Lugar/Biden legislation, which facilitates the beginning of a broader civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and India, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement.
“India is a respected friend and partner of the United States. The world’s largest democracy is a global power, with deep and strong connections to the United States. The two million Americans of Indian descent have enriched our nation in so many ways and helped build even stronger ties between our two countries.
“The development of peaceful nuclear power in India can help address that country’s fast-growing electricity need without contributing to global warming like India’s other energy alternatives.
“The original U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal presented by the Administration was flawed. Fortunately, the Lugar/Biden legislation addresses many of the Administration bill’s flaws. Specifically, Lugar/Biden restores Congress’s important role in overseeing the deal and it includes a number of important non-proliferation safeguards.
“I intend to support the Lugar/Biden legislation, and at the same time I will continue to look for ways to improve it, such as by ensuring that nuclear waste generated in India never be stored in the United States. I believe this legislation could both strengthen our strategic relationship with India and enhance our national security.”