Thursday, October 21, 2010

US official hints at lifting nuclear curbs on India

the first official pronouncement, the US on Thursday said it wants "export control policies" to reflect India "as a partner, not a target", indicating the lifting of curbs during President Barack Obama's visit next month. HT had first reported that a US announcement of related stories

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the end of advanced nuclear technology sanctions against India was expected (Hi-tech N-sanctions against India to go, October 21).

"...Working together to adapt and reform the export control policies to reflect the realities of the 21st century partnership, so that India is treated as a partner and not a target," US under secretary of state William Burns said after his meeting with external affairs minister S.M. Krishna and foreign secretary Nirupama Rao.

Burns and US assistant secretary for South Asia Robert Blake are meeting Indian officials to firm up the deliverables during Obama's visit.

Burns said Obama has a "rich agenda" during his visit that encompasses a range of issues, from agriculture to expansion of defence cooperation to counter-terrorism cooperation. The US is also committed to working with India to realise the full potential of the historic civil nuclear deal, he added.

"In all these areas, there is extraordinary promise and opportunity and we are determined to continue working together and... I believe we are making good progress," he said.

Terming Obama's visit a "historic moment" in India-US ties, Burns said America had deep strategic interest in India's emergence as global power.

Burns will also meet former national security adviser M.K. Narayanan, who had an active role in the civil nuclear deal, before he leaves on Friday.

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