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‘Talks on nuclear deal with US on right track’

Indian and the US negotiators are firing on all cylinders in London to resolve outstanding issues to operationalise the landmark civil nuclear deal ahead of President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit, with officials in Delhi expecting “substantial outcomes.”

india Updated: Jan 23, 2015 03:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
India-US,nuclear deal,Barack Obama

Indian and the US negotiators are firing on all cylinders in London to resolve outstanding issues to operationalise the landmark civil nuclear deal ahead of President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit, with officials in Delhi expecting “substantial outcomes.”

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters on Thursday that deepening cooperation in critical fields such as defence, security, counter-terrorism and the situation in India’s extended neighbourhood would be among the issues that would be discussed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama. He described Obama’s three-day visit, as “one of our most important diplomatic engagements in recent times.” “Our negotiators are working together in a collaborative manner in London. This is the third time the contact group — set up by PM Modi and Obama — is meeting in last nearly 45 days.” The talks in London were extended by a day on Thursday.

Akbaruddin said the group was discussing administrative arrangements, how to further actualise India’s quest for membership of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group and issues related to clarification of the nuclear liability regime.

“What is being discussed in London is how within our legal framework, we can provide assurance to our partners in the US and any concerns that they may have,” he said. The Indian law holds the suppliers directly liable in case of a nuclear mishap — in contrast to countries like the US and France where the primary liability is with the operator.

Shrugging off criticism that Obama was visiting India just to see the parade and visit the Taj Mahal, he said, “The US is a key partner for capital, technology, knowledge and skills in our development effort as also potentially important source of clean energy technology and hydrocarbons.”

First Published: Jan 23, 2015 00:33 IST