The US president George W Bush has made a dramatic shift in policy towards India. He has promised Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh full cooperation in developing its civilian nuclear program while dropping demands for it to join a major nuclear arms control treaty.
In a joint statement at the White House, both countries agreed that as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, India should acquire the same benefits and advantages as other states.
Bush has vowed to seek agreement from Congress to adjust US laws and said it would work with allies to enable full civil nuclear energy trade with India.
India in return has made a series of pledges, agreeing to separate civilian and nuclear programs, to uphold a moratorium on testing and to place civilian nuclear facilities under the UN watchdog.
But it remains outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Some US nuclear experts have voiced concern saying their country’s growing cooperation with India sets a bad example for Iran and North Korea.
Washington is keen to develop ties with India, the largest democracy in the world, whose technological expertise, growing market and strategic importance represent essential assets.