Washington: Raising hopes for the India-United States civilian nuclear deal, the Senate on Thursday took up for debate legislation to implement the pact, with many Senators backing it.

The Senate adopted an amendment that seeks to limit the supply of nuclear fuel commensurate with India's "reasonable reactor operating requirements."

Richard Lugar, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the passage of the bill was in the national security interests. He warned colleagues he would oppose any attempt to delay or impose additional conditions on the agreement.

Calling the agreement a "victory" for bilateral relations, Democrat Joseph Biden said, "... the Senate is engaged in a truly historic process. When we pass this bill, America will be a giant step closer to approving a major shift in U.S.-Indian relations." The two Senators opposed another amendment linking nuclear fuel and equipment exports to India with New Delhi's capping its weapons programme. PTI

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