Global Politics

Nuclear group considers deal with India

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Discussions over lifting a ban on nuclear trade with India have always been controversial. For one thing, India hasn't signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That means the Bush administration's proposal would require the NSG to change its rules, which restrict trade with countries that don't allow safeguards over all nuclear facilities. India has also tested nuclear bombs in the past and has refused to outlaw doing so again. President Bush though has hailed his nuclear deal with India. The NSG first has to come to a consensus on the language of the deal and that consensus is far from certain. This Chinese member of the NSG said China urges caution and hopes a peaceful use of nuclear energy needs will be balanced with proliferation concerns. The subtext to that message is that China is concerned about another nuclear power near its borders. This analyst has said that India needs this extra nuclear power, and the Bush administration has claimed that this deal would bring Indian facilities under additional international safeguards. But the analyst counters that those international safeguards won't make much of a difference and India would be able to increase its nuclear bomb making capacity. Others argue that the India deal sets up one set of rules for one country while other nations less friendly to the U.S. and the West are held to a different standard. This analyst says the Bush administration considers India an exception to the rules, unlike countries like North Korea or Iran. Besides the deal is potentially worth billions of dollars for U.S. and European countries who work with India's nuclear sector. President Bush is eager to sign off on the deal before he leaves office.

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