Noting that the 123 Agreement between India and the US reflected deepening relationship between the two countries, top Obama Administration officials have said that it would have broader impact in the Indo-US ties.
"I think it's a reflection of the deepening of our relationship. We think that the 123 Agreement is in the interest of both the United States, India, and has broader impact as well," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news briefing.
Similarly, Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher pointed to the significant and prized relationship between the two countries.
"We're very happy to see that this agreement is moving forward, and the reprocessing agreement is one piece of a very large 123 Agreement, and we're happy to see that it's moved forward," Tauscher said.
Later in the day, the State Department released the text of the arrangements and procedures agreed between India and the United States.
The advanced consent agreement, the third such pact ever undertaken by the US with another country, grants India advance consent to reprocess spent fuel of US origin and fuel burned in US reactors.
"It was an agreement that required some follow-up, some detail. Obviously, we had to advise our Congress about it. Likewise, the Indian Government worked through the issues. So I think anytime that you not only reach an agreement but then can see it begin to be enacted, that develops trust and confidence on both sides. I think this reflects a much broader, deeper, and expanded relationship between our two countries," Crowley told reporters in response to a question.
Starting July last year, a high-level team from both countries held several round of talks on this crucial aspect of the Indo-US 123 Agreement, which gives New Delhi prior consent to reprocess.
The negotiations, held between a team of India's Department of Atomic Energy officials led by its director, strategic planning group, RB Grover and Richard Stratford, the non-proliferation and disarmament expert in US State Department, were aimed at finalising this pact.
As the two teams overcame several hurdles in their effort to complete the negotiations in time, Crowley termed it as "brilliant diplomacy" and said the State Department is satisfied that the agreement is moving forward.
Terming it as a "truly great news," President of the US India Business Council, Ron Somers, said the third-ever reprocessing arrangement negotiated by the US has now been successfully concluded.
According to him, the agreement distinguished India as a true partner in high technology cooperation for the long future.
The US had previously granted similar rights only to the European consortium EURATOM and Japan.
Both countries, who as partners would reshape economic destiny of 21st century, could now go ahead with the implementation of the US-India civil nuclear accord, Somers added. PTI