Washington DC: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the fall of 2008, when the US Congress passed the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, as the defining moment that changed the very colours of leaves of the US-India relationship.
The Indian Prime Minister made this observation while addressing the Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress during his visit to USA.
The 123 Agreement or the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed between the United States of America and the Republic of India after a joint statement was signed on July 18, 2005, by then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then U.S. President George W. Bush. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bill to approve the Nuclear deal on September 28, 2008. Under this agreement India agreed to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and place all its civil nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. As an inbuilt reciprocacity, the United States agreed to extend full civil nuclear cooperation to India.
In is address, Modi also recalled how more than fifteen years ago, the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had adressed the US Congress and gave a call to step out of the ‘shadow of hesitation’ of the past.
“The pages of our friendship since then tell a remarkable story. Today, our relationship has overcome the hesitations of history. Comfort, candour and convergence define our conversations”, stated Modi.
While Vajpayee called India and the U.S. ‘natural allies’ the US President Obama has called our ties the defining partnership of the 21st century, the Prime Minister further remarked.
Modi thanked the US Congress saying India will never forget the solidarity shown by the U.S. Congress when terrorists from across our border (Pakistan) attacked Mumbai in November of 2008. And for this, we are grateful. He was emphatic in saying: “We thank you for being there when the partnership needed you the most.”
Click here for full text of Prime Minister’s address to the Joint Session of U.S. Congress