U.S. President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are
backing a controversial deal to sell U.S. nuclear fuel to India. VOA
White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from Japan where the
two men met on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight leading
President Bush says the nuclear deal is good
for both nations as they work together to confront challenges including
climate change and security.
It allows India access to atomic
fuel and U.S. civilian nuclear technology in exchange for India opening
its facilities to inspection by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy
But the accord, first announced in 2006, has yet to pass
either nation's legislature with American critics saying it will lead
to a nuclear arms race in Asia and Indian opponents saying it will give
the United States too much influence over Indian nuclear activities.
India has tested nuclear weapons but has not signed the international nonproliferation treaty
communist parties Tuesday withdrew from the Singh government saying
they will call for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister to
protest the deal.
Mr. Singh's government is expected to survive
with the support of a previously-unaligned party that now supports the
Following their talks at the G8 summit on the
Japanese island of Hokkaido, Prime Minister Singh said relations with
the United States have never been better and the two nations must
continue standing shoulder to shoulder. "We have made progress in all
areas. We have progressed in nuclear cooperation, space cooperation,
defense cooperation," he said.
President Bush said their meeting
was a typical conversation among friends talking about common
opportunities and world problems in a spirit of respect. "We talked
about the India / U.S. nuclear deal and how important that is for our
respective countries. We talked about the environment and how we can
work together to grow our economies and at the same time be responsible
stewards of the environment," Mr. Bush said.
blocked past G8 efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions because those
limits did not apply to India and China. At this summit, those nations
joined G8 countries in agreeing to the non-binding goal of halving
greenhouse gas emission by 2050.
President Bush said he and
Prime Minister Singh also discussed educational exchanges and the Doha
round of world trade talks where he said the United States and India
must ensure that protectionist sentiments do not prevent their
economies from further growth.