India seeks Obama’s reaffirmation of nuclear deal: Manmohan Singh

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: At his Tuesday summit with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would seek “a positive reaffirmation” of his administration to carry forward their landmark civil nuclear deal forged during the previous Bush administration.

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India had no worries about the US honouring the consent agreement under their “landmark and watershed” nuclear deal, “but we would like a positive reaffirmation of this administration to carry forward that process”, Manmohan Singh said in an interview with Newsweek ahead of his state visit starting Sunday.

“First of all, we had a watershed and a landmark agreement with the US on nuclear cooperation. We would like to operationalise it and ensure that the objectives for the nuclear deal are realised in full merit,” Manmohan Singh said talking of his objectives during the visit.

“My sincere hope is that we can persuade the US Administration to be more liberal when it comes to transfer of dual-use technologies to us,” he said asserting, “Now that we are strategic partners these restrictions make no sense.”

Noting that “India has an impeccable record of not participating in any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Manmohan Singh said: “So, that is my number one concern.”

Asked if he was concerned about the US honouring the consent agreement that the president has to sign and send to Congress, the prime minister said: “We have no worries, but we would like a positive reaffirmation of this administration to carry forward that process.”

Asked if that meant carrying forward the civil nuclear deal, Manmohan Singh said: “Yes. I also said that this is a partnership for sustained and sustainable development of India and the new global world order which is in search of a new equilibrium.

“India and the United States could be partners in refocusing our attention on an equitable, balanced, global order,” he added.

On its part India would have no difficulty in honouring its commitments to pass a liability agreement on the nuclear deal, he said. “We will do that. Our Cabinet will be taking a decision. I do not see any difficulties in honouring our commitments.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])