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Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 3, 2008
Question Taken at October 3, 2008 Daily Press Briefing

U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative

Question: What is the process for implementing the U.S. - India 123 Agreement now that there has been Congressional approval?

Answer: Before civil nuclear trade can commence with India, some procedural actions must occur.

The United States and India must sign the U.S.-India Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (123 Agreement). This text has been finalized and initialed since July 2007.

President George W. Bush must sign into law the legislation recently passed by Congress approving the 123 Agreement.

After it becomes law, the President will make two certifications required under the law:
(1) that conclusion and implementation of the agreement by its terms is consistent with U.S. obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and
(2) that it is the policy of the United States to work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to further restrict transfers of equipment and technology related to uranium enrichment and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

Following the certifications, India and the United States will exchange diplomatic notes pursuant to Article 16(1) of the 123 Agreement, thereby bringing the agreement into force.

2008/836


Released on October 3, 2008

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