US seeks deeper cooperation with India on nuclear issues

Ahead of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington to attend Nuclear Security Summit, the US has said that it would like to see “deeper bilateral cooperation” with India on nuclear issues. “We are certainly looking forward to Prime Minister Modi’s visit (to attend the summit),” Laura Holgate, Special Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction, said. The nuclear summit is being hosted by US President Barack Obama on March 31 and April 1. Mr Modi is scheduled to arrive in Washington on March 31.
“We are looking at this opportunity as a chance to highlight steps that India has taken in its own nuclear security to go beyond, perhaps, some of the activities that it has done before.  We really would like to see even deeper bilateral cooperation with India proceed going forward out of the summit. So, I hope that will be something that we can work on more closely going forward,” Ms Holgate said.

Before leaving for Belgium, Mr Modi had said: “No words are enough to salute the resilience and spirit of the people of Belgium. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in the wake of the horrific attacks in Brussels and share the grief of those who lost their loved ones. ”

India expects the summit to contribute to raise high level awareness of the threat of nuclear terrorism. It also seeks to strengthen international cooperation against terrorists and nuclear traffickers.

“We also expect that the summit would help bolster legal, institutional and enforcement measures to strengthen the security of nuclear material, radioactive sources, associated facilities and technologies,” External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) Amandeep Singh Gill said.

Status of nuclear deal

While India and US have largely agreed upon the contentious liability and insurance issues, the key players involved such as Westinghouse Electric and General Electric haven’t shown any signs of beginning the building of nuclear reactors on Indian soil.

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