Powell open to lifting sanctions on India

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Tue Jan 30 17:25:46 MST 2001


Friday
19 January 2001

Powell opened to lifting sanctions on India

WASHINGTON: The incoming Bush administration has given enough indications
that it might review and lift the post-Pokhran sanctions imposed against
India.
Addressing the Senate foreign relations committee during his confirmation
hearing on Wednesday, US secretary of state-designate Colin Powell said he
would see whether it was time to move forward to remove all the remaining
sanctions against India and consult his colleagues on the issue.
Describing India as a country that would emerge as the most powerful and
populous, he said, "We should engage more broadly with India, do what we can
to restrain their nuclear programme and also help them with economic
development."
Powell, the first Black American to be nominated secretary of state, said
the Bush administration should deal more wisely with India keeping in view
its vast potential in the India Ocean and its periphery. ``India is a
country that should grow more and be more focussed in the lens of our
foreign policy. We need to work harder and more consistently with India ...
while not neglecting our friends in Pakistan," he said.
Regretting the trigger-happy attitude of Congress members where sanctions
were concerned, he said there were too many embargoes against too many
countries and pledged to review all of them. Every sanction must have a
"sunset clause" at the end of which it should automatically cease to be in
force or be renewed, he said. Powell also indicated that the CTBT will not
be brought up in the next session of the Congress.
On the Bush administration's policy towards China, he said, "A strategic
partner China is not. But neither is China our inevitable and implacable
foe... China is a competitor and a potential regional rival as also a
trading partner willing to cooperate in areas such as Korea where our
strategic interests overlap. China is all of these things; but China is not
an enemy and our challenge is to keep it that way."
Significantly, the outgoing president, Bill Clinton, had hailed China as a
"strategic partner" who played a "positive role" in South Asia.
Referring to Taiwan and the one-China policy, he said the US had long
acknowledged that there was only one China. "In that respect Taiwan is a
part of China. How the People's Republic of China and Taiwan resolve the
differences in interpretation of that view is up to them; so long as
military force is not one of the methods used," Powell said.
He indicated the US National Missile Defence shield would not be shelved
despite opposition from China and Russia. He said Russia stood to gain
enormous benefits from its relationship with the US and with the West in
general. "But that relationship can only be strong and successful if Russia
does what it needs to do... like getting on with reforms, rooting out
corruption, halting proliferation of missile technology and nuclear
materials... and, in general, living up to the obligations it has incurred
as the newest democracy with world power credentials," Powell said. (PTI)
 For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service







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