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USIS Washington 
File

12 May 1998

RUBIN: INDIAN NUCLEAR TEST "CLEARLY A STEP BACK" FOR RELATIONS

(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."