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Obama supports India's joining nuclear club

US President Barack Obama has pledged support to India's membership in regimes like the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said that the US will work with the Indian government to address international concerns about its nuclear liability law.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2012 00:57 IST

US President Barack Obama has pledged support to India's membership in regimes like the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said that the US will work with the Indian government to address international concerns about its nuclear liability law.

The President's reference was to the 2010 Indian law which fixes a liability of Rs. 1,500 crore on a nuclear plant operator in case of an accident. There have been demands by the opposition in India that the liability should be on the foreign equipment suppliers which has raised concerns abroad.

The law is yet to be implemented as the rules under it are being considered by a Parliamentary Committee.

Stating that he was pleased that US companies recently made progress towards beginning construction of new reactors in India, he said: "...as India continues to bring its export control requirements in line with international norms, the US continues to support Indian membership of regimes such as the NSG."

Obama acknowledged that progress in implementing the 2005 Indo-US nuclear agreement has " not come fast enough".

Describing the nuclear deal as the "cornerstone" of broader economic cooperation, the President said, "Obviously, progress in implementing the agreement has not come as fast as either of our countries would have liked. But I am absolutely committed to the agreement's full implementation."

Answering a question on the relationship with India, which he had described as a "defining partnership of the 21st century", Obama said, "Yes, it is true that in some areas we would have liked to see more momentum".

"Still, I'm proud of the progress we have made."