'Pending issues in N-deal to be sorted out soon'

'Pending issues in N-deal to be sorted out soon'

PM and Obama agree on early implementation of the pact

'Pending issues in N-deal to be sorted out soon'

Singh, who has been prodding his top nuclear negotiators ahead of his visit to the US to expedite talks with their American counterparts to sort of the pending issues on reprocessing rights, took up the matter with President Barack Obama when they met at the White House for summit talks on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of his official engagement with the US leadership here, the prime minister said he and Obama had agreed on the early and full implementation of “our civil nuclear cooperation agreement” which would also pave the way for transfers of high technology items to India.

Obama too had, at a joint press conference with Singh on Tuesday, said the US was looking forward towards realising huge business opportunities for American companies in the civil nuclear field that would also create jobs in the US. India, it may be noted, last month identified Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh as states to house prospective nuclear power plants by American private companies.

Delhi is particular that the cooperation terms would include rights upfront granted to India to reprocess spent fuel from nuclear power plants set up under the bilateral nuclear agreement.

Confidence personified
In the course of the press conference, the prime minister said his talks with the president and other US leaders had left him with a “sense of confidence that my visit has deepened mutual understanding between India and the United States, and set new directions for our strategic partnership in a way that will advance our national interests.”
Singh, who has established an excellent personal rapport with Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, discussed the China factor with the president in detail, including the US-China joint statement issued recently in Beijing after Obama’s visit which signaled a role for China in South Asian affairs. The prime minister said Obama had assured him during their talks that the US was not apportioning a role for Beijing in South Asia.

The prime minister also touched upon Pakistan and its anti-India terror links in the course of his press conference. Much as India had come under press from the US to talk to Pakistan to address all outstanding issues of bilateral dispute, the prime minister was confident enough to clear in the US capital that Islamabad would have to address India’s terror concerns before such talks could be resumed.

The India-US joint statement issued after the Singh-Obama talks Tuesday had established a framework to take the bilateral relations forward and reflected the priorities of the two countries for future collaboration in agriculture, education, health, clean energy and energy security, defence and science and technology, the prime minister said.