Obama, Modi Move Closer With Nuclear Liability Breakthrough

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama in India: As it happened on Sunday.

NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared an era of “new trust” in the often fraught relationship between their nations as the U.S. leader opened a three-day visit to New Delhi. 9.39 pm: I am looking forward to tomorrow and I hear the band will play the hymn that was so close to Mahatma Gandhi – “…the darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. Standing side by side at the stately Hyderabad House, Obama and Modi cited progress toward putting in place a landmark civil nuclear agreement, as well as advances on climate change and defense ties. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.” : Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan 9.33 pm: Your presence at Republic Day will reflect the growing ties of friendship & trust that binds our 2 democracies closely: President Pranab Mukherjee 9.30 pm: After meeting you in such a banquet during your last visit,am doubly happy to be your host this time: President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the august gathering 9.08 pm: You are first US President to attend Republic Day; visit India twice in office and hold 2nd Summit within first 4 months: President tells Obama 8.45 pm: Guests at the banquet include former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior BJP leader LK Advani and members of the Modi Cabinet. 5:28 pm: One thing I can tell you we discussed is how much sleep each one of us gets.

Though Obama said the two countries had taken an “important step,” neither man provided details on how an earlier 2005 U.S. decision to provide India nuclear fuel and reactor components would finally be implemented. Stumbling blocks have long included Indian legislation allowing nuclear suppliers to be sued over accidents and U.S. insistence that any nuclear fuel sold to India be tracked to prevent weapons proliferation. “We think we came to an understanding of the liability” issue, said U.S. Power-starved India plans a $182 billion expansion of its nuclear industry to produce electricity for the almost one-quarter of the country’s 1.2 billion people who routinely go without it. I am new in this sphere but what I have understood in this short span of time is that relationship between two countries is more about chemistry between leaders.

This personal chemistry between myself and Barack has brought India and US together, says Modi 5:18 pm: India is an independent country and we are not under pressure because US and China have reached a climate deal. U.S. companies such as General Electric Co. (GE:US) and Westinghouse Electric Co. that have stayed away from India must decide whether the arrangement is adequate, Verma said. India today said it was setting up an insurance pool valued at 7.5 billion rupees ($122 million), with the government contributing more at a later date, according to Amandeep Singh Gill, joint secretary of disarmanent in the Foreign Ministry. The two leaders discussed long-standing differences, including the impasse over India’s liability law, which would hold American suppliers responsible for accidents at the power plants. “Six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving toward commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability,” Mr. But we are under ‘pressure’ as climate change is a problem and we should work to give a clean environment to future generations, says Modi 5:03 pm: Your reputation preceded you.

He called Obama by his first name and said “the chemistry that has brought Barack and me closer has also brought Washington and Delhi closer.” Obama was to be the chief guest Monday at the annual Republic Day festivities, which mark the anniversary of India’s democratic constitution coming into force. General Insurance Corp. and four other public sector companies will put up the cash, he said. “This is a complete risk management solution for both operators and suppliers without causing undue financial burden,” Singh told reporters in New Delhi today. Obama is the first U.S. leader to attend the celebrations that are part Soviet-style display of India’s military hardware, part Macy’s Thanksgiving Day-type parade with floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity.

Relations between the U.S. and India hit a low in 2013 after an Indian diplomat was arrested and strip-searched in New York over allegations that she lied on visa forms to bring her maid to the U.S. while paying the woman a pittance. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. “We are comfortable that India will live up to its international commitment to channel the liability to operators the way that’s become a custom for international practice the way our companies would expect,” Rhodes said. “It’s ultimately now up to the companies to assess if it’s the right time, the right market, the right risk.” India is one of the few nations that don’t exempt nuclear suppliers from accident liability.-India nuclear deal, which was supposed to clear the way for the sale of nuclear reactors and fuel to India, was signed in 2008, but the 2010 passage of an Indian law making suppliers liable for accidents stalled progress. The reason can be found in the central Indian city of Bhopal, where more than 10,000 people were killed or injured in a 1984 chemical leak from a Union Carbide Corp. pesticide plant. Public support for the liability legislation only hardened after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown in Japan, which forced 160,000 people from their homes and will cost an estimated $196 billion to clean up.

Also, Washington was frustrated by Indian legal liability provisions that have discouraged U.S. companies from capitalizing on new energy development in India. This requires translating our vision into sustained action and concrete achievements, says PM Modi 4:50 pm: The promise and potential of this relationship has never been in doubt. As part of the deal, the U.S. dropped its earlier insistence that it be able to track the nuclear material provided to India, a requirement that went beyond standard International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, according to Indian press reports. Both leaders also touted an agreement to jointly produce new defense technology.These projects “will help upgrade our domestic defense industry and expand the manufacturing sector in India,” Mr. It appears the U.S. “caved” on a legal requirement for extensive monitoring to ensure that no U.S. technology is diverted for Indian military purposes, according to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, an advocacy group.

The show of solidarity Sunday came against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive and well-armed China that has altered the balance of power in Asia. The White House is hoping that the surprise deal with China late last year setting ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions will influence India and others.

It tells us that our two nations are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership – for our two countries and for shaping the character of this century, says Modi 3:30 pm: Indo-US nuclear deal sealed, claimed reports. Modi said they had renewed an expiring pact governing defense cooperation and agreed “in principle” to work together on advanced defense systems such as small unmanned vehicles and unspecified aircraft carrier technology. They are scheduled to issue a joint statement and later jointly address the press. 1:30 pm: Narendra Modi and Barack Obama begin bilateral talks on crucial issues. The two also issued a “joint strategic vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean,” which included an endorsement of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Union Minister Piyush Goyal and other dignitaries are also present at the tarmac to welcome the dignitaries. 9:40 am: US President Barack Obama’s Air Force One has landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were hosted at a state dinner featuring a dance performance by a cultural group that also performed during Obama’s 2010 visit to India. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the visit of the US president is high on substance and symbolism. “Energy, trade, defence and economy are on our agenda. John Podesta, counselor to the president, said they have a “full commitment” of the prime minister to move forward on phasing down hydroflurocarbons according to the Montreal Protocol.

India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, has resisted calls to reduce its emissions, citing its need to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. Modi saying they would give this critical partnership sustained attention. “We have agreed that India and the United States must have regular summits at greater frequency,” Mr.

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