Today, I attended the official bill signing of the U.S./India nuclear deal.  This is truly an historic day for U.S./India relations, and I congratulate the Indian-American community for its dedication to building support for this landmark law.

The most significant comments at today's bill signing came from President Bush when he stated that India is a friend.  I believe this deal best demonstrates this strong bond of friendship that exists between our two nations, one that will only grow stronger in the years to come.

The United States has an important strategic partnership with India, and this civilian nuclear cooperation deal is a critical component to a continued, successful partnership.  The agreement strengthens energy security for the US and India and promotes the development of stable and efficient energy markets in India to ensure adequate and affordable supplies.

This deal is also the foundation of a promising US-India alliance that will serve as a defense against terrorism and nuclear proliferation.  The US has an important stake in ensuring regional stability in South Asia, even as Pakistan continues to produce and test nuclear weapons without proper safeguards.  With the rising power of Communist China in the region and Osama bin Laden continuing to hide in Afghanistan or Pakistan, we need India as our strategic ally, and this deal today furthers that goal.