A four-member Congress delegation, headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi, called on visiting US president Barack Obama on Monday and discussed the crucial issue of operationalisation of the civil nuclear deal and the threat of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
The delegation, also comprising former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Anand Sharma, also discussed cooperation in multiple sectors between the two countries.
The 30-minute-long meeting took place at ITC Maurya Hotel where the US President is staying and was also attended by Michelle Obama. Sharma said Obama acknowledged the contribution of the previous UPA government in signing the landmark Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
India and the US on Sunday ended the 7-year-old stalemate in operationalising the deal besides deciding to jointly produce military hardware during the talks between PM Narendra Modi and Obama. The Congress had earlier reacted cautiously to the “breakthrough”, saying it would have to see the fine print on whether issues raised by the US have been addressed within India’s legal framework and also sought details on how the difficulties were overcome.
Sharma said the meeting was “very positive” and the two sides discussed a wide range of issues for cooperation in bilateral, regional and international arena. He said Manmohan Singh underlined the importance of inclusive and sustainable growth for a society like India “where a larger number of people are still under the margins of subsistence” and stressed on the need for closer Indo-US economic partnership. Congress sources pointed out that a wide range of issues, including the threat of IS, came up for discussion during the meeting and the two sides shared their assessments and concerns.