India, US discuss advancing civil nuclear cooperation


Blinken-Jaishankar

Setting the tone for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June, India and the US have discussed efforts to advance civil nuclear cooperation. The two countries also discussed steps to boost bilateral trade and investment. Both the countries held talks on a range of bilateral and regional issues during foreign secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Washington on April 28 where he met Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The main focus of the meeting revolved around efforts to advance civil-nuclear cooperation and to increase trade and investment, according to an unnamed State Department spokesperson. “They discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues including US-India efforts to advance our civil-nuclear cooperation and to increase bilateral trade and investment,” the official said. “The Deputy Secretary also expressed appreciation for India’s contributions to the global effort to address climate change and both countries’ historic signing of the Paris Agreement,” he added.

There has been no official word from either New Delhi or the White House regarding Mr Modi’s visit. However, a bipartisan group of four American lawmakers in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan made a strong pitch to invite Mr Modi to address a joint meeting of the US Congress during his visit, which is expected from June 7-8.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to improve investments in India is expected to be a major issue between US President Barack Obama and Mr Modi during the visit. This would be Mr Modi’s fourth trip to the US in the last two years