PM resists US pressure

PM resists US pressure

Nuclear suppliers should operate within Indian laws

PM resists US pressure

US President Barack Obama shakes hand with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday. Reuters

The issue came up during an hour-long meeting between Singh and Obama here against the backdrop of apprehensions among the US firms that Indian liability laws were not supplier friendly.

“I explained to him (Obama) that we have a law in place. Rules have been formulated. These rules will lie before our Parliament for 30 days.

“Therefore, we have gone some way to respond to the concerns of American companies and within the four corners of the law of the land we are willing to address any specific grievances,” Singh told reporters after his meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the Asean and East Asia Summits in this island resort of Indonesia.

The rules, which were notified on Wednesday, make it clear among other things that there would be no unlimited or unending liability on the part of the suppliers.
Singh said he had also told Obama that India was ready to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation, another issue that the US wants to be done as part of implementation of the civil nuclear deal.

Sources said the issue came up during the course of review of implementation of decisions taken by the two sides. They claimed that Obama did not respond and merely “noted”  the prime minister’s statement.

During the meeting, the first since Obama visited India last November, the two leaders also talked about strengthening the bonds of strategic ties put in place during the historic visit.

“I am very happy to report to you that there are today no irritants whatsoever in our working together in a multiplicity of areas, both bilateral, regional and global issues,” Singh told Obama as they met.

Against the backdrop of the South China Sea issue row, Singh, in the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, said that India’s oil exploration in the disputed maritime area “is purely a commercial activity” even as the two sides agreed that there was enough space and areas for them to work together.

A range of issues, including the situation along the Line of Actual Control and trade, was discussed during the 55-minute meeting, with Singh saying India was committed to developing the “best of relations” with China while the latter underlined that the two countries should work “hand in hand” to ensure that the 21st century “belongs to Asia.”

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