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U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Final Congressional Approval is Conditioned on Future Steps by India and two International Organizations

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At their meeting in India in July of 2005, President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed that the United States and India should resume cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy matters. Their cooperation had ended in 1974 after the Indians conducted a nuclear explosion which the United States concluded was a nuclear weapon test. After achieving a tentative agreement with Prime Minister Singh, Bush called upon Congress to amend the Atomic Energy Act's prohibition on U.S. nuclear assistance to India so that he could carry out the agreement. Before the end of its 2006 session, Congress did so. It approved a bill authorizing the negotiation of a new U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement. The authorization was not a "blank check." In this new statute, Congress insisted upon having an opportunity for reviewing whatever final agreement the administration negotiates with India. It demanded that, before it considers whether to give approval to that agreement, the agreement be submitted for approval to both the IAEA and to the international Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

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