US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday welcomed the start of preparatory work on six nuclear reactors in India, a key step in closing the first deal stemming from a US-India civil nuclear accord struck over a decade ago.
- India, US Export-Import Bank “to work together toward a competitive financing package” for nuclear reactors: India-US joint statement
- Site design of six nuclear reactors in India to begin “immediately”: India-US joint statement
- Obama, Modi confirm Nuclear Power Corporation Of India and Westinghouse will finalise contractual arrangements by June 2017.
- “India has made a name for itself as fastest growing economy in the world. Will work together for world’s peace and security” — Modi
- “We have discussed a range of issues of cooperation today from business and technology to governance” — Modi
- “India is a young country and we are aware of the talent it has. We will continue to work together in the future too” — Obama
- “India and USA have strong bonds” — Obama
- “Will meet again in G20 ,will fulfil dream of climate justice.Our friend Obama extended support to MTCR and NSG ; will always be grateful” — Modi
- “India is a young country, over 800 million of Indians below age of 35. Our youth power in partnership with US will serve mankind” — Modi
- “We are working shoulder to shoulder; we are proud. Will continue working together” –Modi
- “Want to thank my close friend President Obama,we discussed a range of issues. Also thank US Congress for inviting me” — Modi
- “We discussed progress made on nuclear civil cooperation” — Obama
- “We discussed regional security issues; we wish to work together on cyber security” — Obama
- “I have fond memories of India when I took part in Republic Day” — Obama
For Modi, Tuesday’s visit was a time to set the seal on what has been achieved and set the stage for what he hopes will be a mushrooming in US-India trade from $120 billion to $500 billion.
For Obama, who will step down from office in January, it was a matter of his legacy — friendship with India and inroads into its huge market are a victory for his so-called “pivot to Asia.”
Relations between the countries are not always easy — India insists on staying out of formal alliances and forging its own course — but both leaders can boast that ties have improved.
Modi was scheduled to meet with US business leaders and members of the three million strong Indian-American community after meeting Obama.
Officials played down the chances of major announcements during the visit, but noted that India is very close to a deal with US electric giant Westinghouse to build a nuclear plant.
Another potential arena for greater cooperation is in the military and security arena.
India has made the United States its main arms supplier — spending $14 billion over the past five years — but also spends heavily with French, Israeli and Russian suppliers.
The two countries are negotiating a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), although it is not clear whether a final draft will be ready for Modi to sign on his visit.
This arrangement, long-sought by Washington, will allow the two militaries to seek supplies and spare parts from each other’s bases.
Singh did not say whether agreement was imminent — India also wants deals to acquire advanced US arms technology — but noted that Indian and US troops now train together regularly.