US praises India's non-proliferation record
Washington, April 19 (IANS) The US has commended India, which Thursday successfully tested its long-range nuclear-capable missile Agni-V, for its "solid non-proliferation record" even as it cautioned all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear capabilities.
"Naturally, I just would say that we urge all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear capabilities," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Wednesday ahead of the test.
"That said, India has a solid non-proliferation record," he said when asked to comment on India's plans to test its indigenous intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V.
"They're engaged with the international community on non-proliferation issues. And Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh), I believe, has attended both of the nuclear security summits, the one in Washington and then Seoul," Toner noted.
Asked if India had consulted Washington about the test, he said: "We've got a very strong strategic and security partnership with India, so we obviously have routine discussions about a wide range of topics, including their defence requirements."
But "I'm not aware that we've specifically raised this issue with them", he added.
Asked if his comments indicated US wouldn't have any specific concerns on India's test as a destabilising factor in the region, Toner said: "I think I'll just stay with the fact that we always caution all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint."
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
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