End-user pact brings India into non-proliferation mainstream: US

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alongwith External Affairs Minister S M Krishna

''It's a very significant agreement,'' State Department Spokesman Robert Wood told reporters on Tuesday when asked to explain how the EUM for high-tech defence equipment and technology would work.

"We're very proud and we believe that this agreement between the US and India is important in our overall global non-proliferation efforts, and we believe that this agreement has brought India into the nuclear non-proliferation mainstream."

"And so it's a landmark event," Wood said. "What end-user means is basically making sure that the material, once it's delivered, it does not go to any other party, unless there is some sort of agreement by the United States. I mean that's, in essence, what end-user means."

Asked how the US would verify the end user and whether it would entail any visits to Indian military bases, the spokesman declined to get into the details.

"Those types of issues will be worked out between the two sides and in consultation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and other players. But I'm not an expert in the agreement, so I can't get into all of the details."

Asked to comment on the strong political reaction to the EUM in India with critics calling it a sellout to the US, Wood said: "India made a conscious decision to sign this agreement. It's in - India has said it's in its best interests.

"We certainly think it's in the interest of the United States. But again, we think it's an overall good agreement. And we will need to implement the agreement, and those activities are already underway."

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