12 May 1998
(Albright recommends US sanctions law "be implemented immediately") (200) By Rick Marshall USIA Staff Writer Washington -- State Department Spokesman James Rubin told reporters May 12 that Secretary of State Albright "believes it was appalling" that Indian diplomats gave the United States no indication that New Delhi was planning to conduct nuclear tests. "Clearly this is a setback in our efforts ... to build stronger relations with India," Rubin said. The tests, which India conducted May 11, "breaks the international moratorium" on nuclear testing. Rubin noted that President Clinton called on India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) now and that the President said that he intends to implement U.S. laws. This could lead to a wide ban on U.S. assistance to India. Indeed, Secretary Albright has "strongly" recommended that "the laws be implemented immediately," he said. Rubin also noted that President Clinton's plans to visit India are being reviewed and that the U.S. ambassador has been recalled. The United States would have no objection to discussing the CTBT treaty with India, Rubin said, "but that doesn't change the fact that we have laws."