Obama, Modi Reach Nuclear Deal

Obama, Modi Reach Nuclear Deal
Obama, Modi Reach Nuclear Deal

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday they have reached a “breakthrough understanding” in efforts to free US investment in nuclear energy development in India. The two leaders voiced optimism to find common ground on defense, commerce and environmental issues.

Obama and Modi expressed hope that six years after a landmark nuclear agreement between the US and India, the deal could begin to bear fruit, AP reported.

The White House said the understanding on the India’s civil nuclear program resolves the US concerns on both tracking and liability.

The US and India had been at an impasse over US insistence on tracking fissile material it supplies to India and over Indian liability provisions that have discouraged U.S. firms from capitalizing on a 2008 civil nuclear agreement between the two countries.

“In our judgment, the Indians have moved sufficiently on these issues to give us assurances are resolved,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.

Rhodes said it would still be up to US companies to assess the market and decide whether they wanted to partake. He said neither country needed to take legislative action to complete the agreements the leaders reached Sunday.

“Your election and your strong personal commitment to the US-India relationship gives us an opportunity to further energize these efforts,” Obama said.

“Barack and I have formed a bond, a friendship,” Modi said. “We can laugh and joke and talk easily on the phone. The chemistry that has brought Barack and me closer has also brought Washington and Delhi closer.”

Modi greeted Obama with an elaborate welcome at the country’s presidential palace. Obama laid a wreath at a memorial honoring the father of India’s independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi.