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Press Release on President Bush's address at the National Defense University in Washington, DC

New Delhi
May 2, 2001

The Minister of External Affairs had a telephonic conversation this afternoon with US National Security Adviser, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. There had been a request last night from the White House of Dr. Rice wanting to speak with the External Affairs Minister. This was part of an information and consultation process with India, among other countries, about a major policy statement that President Bush was then scheduled to make through a speech at the National Defence University, Washington D.C. on May 1, 2001.

President Bush's address at the NDU, Washington D.C. is a highly significant and far-reaching statement of US national security policy by the Bush administration. It seeks to transform the strategic parameters on which the Cold War security architecture was built.

India, particularly, welcomes the announcement of unilateral reductions by the US of nuclear forces, as an example. We also welcome moving away from the hair-trigger alerts associated with prevailing nuclear orthodoxies. India believes that there is astrategic and technological inevitability in stepping away from a world that is held hostage by the doctrine of MAD to a cooperative, defensive transition that is underpinned by further cuts and a de-alert of nuclear forces. We note with appreciation the US resolve to seek dialogue, consultation and cooperation with the countries concerned towards a fulfillment of this vision. India has always stood for a multilateral compact that results in an elimination of all nuclear weapons globally.

India also lauds the desire expressed by the US President to make a "clean break from the past" and, especially from the "adversarial legacy of the Cold War."

As part of consultations with "friends and allies", Dr. Condoleezza Rice informed the External Affairs Minister of President Bush's decision to send his personal special emissary, US Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Richard Armitage to Delhi to consult with and to discuss "a new frameworkfor security and stability that reflects the world of today." Mr. Richard Armitage will be reaching Delhi on May 10 and shall hold consultations with the External Affairs Minister and other senior officials of the Government on May 11.