India Intelligence Report

   India Says Nothing Beyond July 18 Commitments



  • Foreign Secretary says that India has fulfilled its commitment to US on Civilian Nuclear deal but refuses to go beyond those commitments

  • Warns against unilaterally abrogating the deal with a nuclear test that could lead to worldwide isolation

  • India appreciated growing convergences in security, terrorism, and other global issues

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said that India will has fulfilled all July 18, 2005 commitments and will not go beyond them but warned that any departure from those promises will involve a large price as faced in after the 1998 nuclear tests. Speaking at the Indian Habitat Center, he said that the elected Government will have to seriously weigh supreme national interest with economic, political, and diplomatic consequences if it wants to conduct another test.

Saran had met his US Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Treaty counterpart Nicholas Burns and made India’s views clear that some of the references made in the US legislation may be “unpalatable” to India. However, he also cautioned that “While making our views quite clear, we must focus on what is essential” to assess “the legislation” by scrutinizing “binding provisions that will find their way into the 123 Agreement and the safeguard arrangement.” The 123 Agreement  is the bilateral treaty that covers the nuts and bolts of the July 18, 2005 Agreement and the safeguard arrangement is the Agreement that India is working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Saran rejected continued objections in India on the erosion of “vigor” of the nation’s strategic deterrent if the civilian and military programs are separated. He also argued for an adjustment in “traditional positions” on “difficult issues” and “display an aversion to risk-taking” if “India is to become a credible candidate for permanent membership of the [U.N.] Security Council.” He reminded the nation that the US is the "pre-eminent power" which can “shape global sentiment” and asserted that “There can be no argument that better relations with the U.S. are in our national interest” as “It is our largest trade partner, investor and technology source.”

He also applauded the “strong security convergences” between India and the US that could facilitate stronger bilateral relations politically and diplomatically that could also positively affect other countries.

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