The United States and India have reached a historic milestone in their strategic partnership by completing negotiations on the bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, also known as the "123 agreement." This agreement will govern civil nuclear trade between our two countries and open the door for American and Indian firms to participate in each other’s civil nuclear energy sector.
The conclusion of negotiations on this agreement marks a major step forward in fulfilling the promise of full civil nuclear cooperation as envisioned by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The successful completion of the text permits us to move forward on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation initiative, first announced by the two leaders on July 18, 2005, and reaffirmed on March 2, 2006. The next steps include India negotiating a safeguards agreement with the IAEA and support for nuclear trade with India from the forty-five member Nuclear Suppliers Group. Once these additional actions have been completed, President Bush will submit the text of the agreement to the U.S. Congress for final approval.
Civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India will offer enormous strategic and economic benefits to both countries, including enhanced energy security, a more environmentally-friendly energy source, greater economic opportunities, and more robust nonproliferation efforts.
This achievement reinforces the growing bilateral relationship between two vibrant democracies. We are committed to the strategic partnership outlined by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and look forward to working together to implement this historic initiative.