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India, US finalising details to make N-deal fully operational: PM

world Updated: Nov 23, 2009 23:23 IST

A day before he sits down for talks with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the two sides are finalising the details of the nuclear deal that will make their landmark atomic agreement "fully operational".

"We are currently finalising the details that will make the agreement fully operational," Manmohan Singh told top American business leaders at a meeting organised at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

Beginning his four-day visit as the first state guest of the Obama White House on Monday, Manmohan Singh said he looked forward to his discussions with President Obama on Tuesday.

The wide-ranging talks are expected to deepen and diversify strategic partnership between India and the US and assure New Delhi that there has been no cooling off of bilateral ties under the Obama administration.

Manmohan Singh arrived here Sunday afternoon and was accorded a rousing ceremonial welcome at St Andrews Air Force Base.

He thanked the American business community for promoting the landmark nuclear deal and underlined that the completion of the deal, inked in October last year, will open up huge business opportunities for the US companies.

"The nuclear agreement was a landmark in India-US relations and I would like to acknowledge with deep appreciation, the very supportive role American business played in persuading Congress to support the initiative.

"Once that is done, it will remove restrictions on the flow of technology in nuclear and many other areas," Manmohan Singh said.

"This will open up a large area of commercial opportunities for US business," he added.

An agreement on reprocessing spent fuel in a dedicated national facility under international safeguards is on the verge of being concluded and is expected to be announced Tuesday after talks between Manmohan Singh and Obama.

The crucial reprocessing agreement will clear the last hurdle in the way of resuming nuclear commerce between India and the US after a gap of thirty four years.

Manmohan Singh shook hands with top American and Indian business leaders and posed for a group photo with American and Indian flags positioned against a navy blue backdrop in the Daniel Webster Room of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Donhue, president of the US chamber of Commerce, and Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi and chairperson of the US India Business Council, were among those present at the event that showcased growing economic ties between the two countries.