The US Senate has overwhelmingly endorsed a plan allowing the United States to ship civilian nuclear fuel and technology to India, handing President George W. Bush an important victory on one of his top foreign policy initiatives. India welcomed the vote, with reservations.
Senior lawmakers from both political parties championed the proposal, which reverses decades of US anti-proliferation policy, saying it strengthens a key relationship with a friendly Asian power that has long maintained what the United States considers a responsible nuclear program. Thursday's vote was 85-12.
In New Delhi, Indian leaders welcomed the Senate's action but noted that the legislation still has a way to go before becoming US law. They warned that India wants nothing short of the agreement signed July 18, 2005, by Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
India's external affairs minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said he could draw no conclusions on the legislation until he sees the final version.