N-liability: India, US parley to end differences | delhi | Hindustan Times
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N-liability: India, US parley to end differences

US on Monday said India shared its commitment to the "full implementation" of the civil nuclear agreement as both countries discussed ways to iron out differences on the nuclear liability law.

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2011 20:32 IST

US on Monday said India shared its commitment to the "full implementation" of the civil nuclear agreement as both countries discussed ways to iron out differences on the nuclear liability law.

US deputy secretary of State William Burns, who is here on a visit, on Monday held wide-ranging talks with foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai covering the issue of implementation of civil nuclear deal and other subjects like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, external affairs minister SM Krishna and national security adviser Shivshankar Menon.

"We had very productive discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues. We stressed our shared interest in expanding our economic cooperation between our two countries (and) our shared commitment to the full implementation of the civil nuclear agreement," Burns told reporters.

He said he was pleased to follow-up on the "excellent meeting" President Barack Obama had with Prime Minister Singh in Bali in Indonesia last month.

Implementation of the civil nuclear agreement, signed in 2008 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then President George W Bush, has been a matter of contention, particularly due to American reservations on India's nuclear liability law.

The US contends that the legislation is not in tune with the IAEA's Convention on Supplementary Compensation thus making it difficult for US companies to start nuclear commerce with India.

Singh had told Obama that India had gone "some way" to allay concerns of US firms on nuclear liability but made it clear that any specific grievance has to be addressed within the "four corners" of the law.

Burns stressed that the US government was giving "high-level attention" to its relationship with India and said this partnership is not going to see everyday the "dramatic breakthroughs or announcements" like the civil nuclear deal.

"But I think everyday we can continue with our hard, steady work on building and strengthening the relationship that matters great to our two governments and our people," he said.

On former home secretary GK Pillai's comments that US was very reluctant in sharing information about 26/11 plotter David Headley, Burns said the two countries have put very hard and effective work not only in intelligence sharing in counter-terrorism cooperation.

Burns said US understands the "significance" of Headley case and that the US is determined to continue to work with our "Indian partners not only on that case but as I said shared interest in fighting terrorism around the world."