U.S. President Barack Obama said that “full implementation” of the 2008 nuclear power agreement between India and the United States was now within reach, his announcement marking a key achievement in his weekend trip to the subcontinent and meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After six years of deadlock, the United States agreed that the International Atomic Energy Agency would be the party responsible for inspecting U.S.-based fissile material in India. "Today we achieved a breakthrough understanding ... and we're committed to moving towards full implementation," the president said.
Going forward, the United States will be able to provide insurance coverage for U.S. companies involved in plant construction in India, RT reported.
India, since 2008, had insisted that it would not protect U.S. companies from liabilities that arose from nuclear power incidents in India. The United States, for its part, had insisted that it be able to monitor U.S. fissile materials on the subcontinent. Obama used his presidential powers to waive that stipulation.
Various media reports say the new details are vague and have yet to allow a full analysis of the deal, which may signal more of a willingness to continue talks than a solid breakthrough U.S. companies will embrace.
“Ultimately, it's up to the companies to go forward, but the two governments came to an understanding,” U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma told reporters.
The original agreement, which became hung up on the liability issue, was forged by previous administrations -- administrations of former President George W. Bush and former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh -- in 2008.
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