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US: New NSG norms no hurdle to nuclear deal

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the new Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines on the enrichment and reprocessing technology.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
July 20, 2011 4:08:08 am

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said the new Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines on the enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology should not be construed as detracting from the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal,and pressed New Delhi to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) “within this year”.

Responding to a question from The Indian Express at a joint press conference with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna,Clinton said,“The US remains fully committed to expanding our civil nuclear cooperation with India…The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) clean waiver was an important joint accomplishment for both our governments and we stand by it.”

“Nothing”,she said,about “the new ENR transfer restrictions agreed to by the NSG members should be construed as detracting from the unique impact and importance of the US-India civil nuclear agreement or our commitment to full civil nuclear cooperation”. But,she said,“…we are looking forward to India ratifying the CSC for nuclear damage during this year,before the end of this year,and we would encourage engagement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the liability regime that India adopts by lawfully conforms with the international requirements…”

The joint statement after the second round of strategic dialogue said the two leaders welcomed the continued commitment of the two governments for full implementation of the India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement. They reiterated their commitment to building strong civil nuclear energy cooperation through the participation of US firms in India on the basis of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions for a viable tariff regime for the power generated.

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“They noted that the US has ratified the CSC and India intends to ratify the CSC within this year. They further noted that India is committed to ensuring a level playing field for US companies seeking to enter the Indian nuclear energy sector…” the statement said.

About the NSG membership,Clinton said,“We have made it clear that we strongly support India’s full membership in the four export control regimes in a phased manner.” Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved together towards India’s full membership of the four multilateral export control regimes — NSG,Missile Technology Control Regime,Australia Group,Wassenaar Arrangement.

The US,the statement said,looks forward to hosting a senior-level Indian delegation at the US-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group next week at Oak Ridge Laboratory.

Strategic talks: Key outcomes

* Signed MoU to exchange information on cyber attacks

* Plan to resume technical-level negotiations on bilateral investment treaty in August in Washington

* Intend to participate in first Consular Dialogue on July 25 in Washington

* Signed Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement

* Women’s Empowerment Dialogue planned for September in Delhi

* US and India to host a Higher Education Summit in Washington on October 13

* Plan to host third annual ‘Women in Science’ workshop in September

* India-US trade policy forum to meet in October

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