US, India to discuss progress on defence, nuke cooperation

Gandhinagar: The US and India will try to make progress in defence and civil nuclear cooperation when President Barack Obama visits Delhi this month end, Secretary of State John Kerry said today.

He also said that they expected India to sign a landmark climate change agreement in Paris at the end of this year and this would be part of the discussions Obama will have with Prime Minister Modi.

Obama will be in India as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year. He will also have discussions with Modi on bilateral and other issues.

“We will try to make progress on issues like defence agreements, civil nuclear agreement as well as economic progress,” Kerry told reporters here giving the outline of the discussion with Modi.

“We are also working together to strengthen maritime security. We are strengthening our partnership to combat terrorism, piracy and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We are committed to regional dialogue on key political and security issues,” he said.

After the landmark nuclear deal between the two countries in 2008, cooperation in the sector has been stalled over the tough provisions in the Civil Nuclear Liability Act that have come as a dampener for foreign operators.

Speaking about his yesterday’s meeting with Modi, Kerry said, “I had productive discussion with prime minister Narendra Modi when president Obama is coming here next month.

Obama is honoured to be invited as a chief guest at the Republic Day parade and is going to be the first sitting president to be on a visit to India for the second time”.

Kerry, who is here to take part in the seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat summit, his second visit to India after Modi took over as prime minister, also said that he is impressed by the event.

“We expect to sign a landmark climate change agreement with India in Paris at the end of this year. And I know that this topic would be part of President Obama’s discussion with the prime minister during his upcoming visit,” he said.