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U.S. cannot sell nuclear power technology: Rice

Sridhar Krishnaswami

For reasons of Non-Proliferation Treaty implications

WASHINGTON: : The United States has said that it cannot sell nuclear power technology to India yet because of Non-Proliferation Treaty implications.

In an interview to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, was asked if Washington was prepared to sell nuclear reactor technology to India and work out a safeguard deal.

"No, no, we're not there, that is not the case. We are having, as you know, with the Chinese civil nuclear discussions. We have agreed with the Indians that we can talk about a variety of energy sources but obviously there are NPT implications that are quite serious about civilian nuclear power in India," she said. The State Department has carried the full text of the interview on its website.

"We do need to recognise and to help countries deal with the energy demands that they are facing. And if you look at China or India...there is a demand for stable energy sources. It's one reason...that we have energy dialogues that are popping up all over the place because we are going to take a look at what we can do because it's going to continue to happen that oil-rich troublesome states will have leverage if you can't help people find alternative means to meet their energy demands," she said to a question on India dealing with Iran.

The NPT "implications" that Dr. Rice put forth has to be seen in the context of the discussions between the External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, and the Indian delegation with the U.S. President, George W. Bush, and senior officials of his administration.

At the Oval Office meeting on Thursday, Mr. Bush and Mr. Singh are said to have discussed a range of issues, including "the very important issue" of energy and the challenges in this sector.

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