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India Caucus launched in U.S.

By Sridhar Krishnaswami

WASHINGTON, APRIL 29. The Democratic Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has called for a new beginning on defining an anti-proliferation agenda and held out the hope that India and the United States could be among the leaders in this task.

Ms. Clinton made the remarks on Thursday at the formal launch of the Senate India Caucus, of which she is the co-chair.

The Caucus, which is bipartisan, has attracted 32 members in the 100-strong Senate.

Ms. Clinton stressed that India and the U.S. would have to lead into the new century of cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In this it was "imperative and urgent" that one should include not only India but also "our friends" in Pakistan and Israel and any other nations "to prevent rogue states like North Korea from not only obtaining nuclear weaponry but also in having the potential to intimidate others and use those weapons."

Senator John Cornyn, the Republican co-chair of the first-ever Senate Caucus dedicated to relations between India and the U.S., remarked that one of its objectives was to understand India better and discuss a number of issues such as political, security, trade and investments, including outsourcing.

"We have some disagreements. We also have the need for better understanding," the Republican lawmaker from Texas said and added that India and the U.S. had "nothing to fear from one another. We have great potential."

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