India downplays Obama’s remarks; won’t make hasty conclusions

Seeking to downplay President Obama`s remarks Wednesday, India has said it would be wrong to prejudge the US leader`s visit.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it will not make
any "hasty conclusions" on the outcome of
discussions with President Barack Obama on "complex" issues of
outsourcing, seat for India in UN Security Council and
withdrawal of US ban on export of dual-use technology.

Seeking to downplay Obama`s remarks yesterday in which he
did not hold out any assurances on these key concerns, Foreign
Secretary Nirupama Rao said it would be wrong to prejudge the
US leader`s discussions with the Indian leadership.

There has been a good "working progress" on elimination
of obstacles created by dual-use controls of the US as
governments of both countries were of the view that the issue
need to be reviewed in order to reduce and "ultimately
eliminate" it, Rao said.

She also disclosed that India has invited US companies to
explain to them the provisions of its domestic civil nuclear
liability law and address their concerns, if any, and also
begin discussions on the next steps of implementation of civil
nuclear power projects.

"A commercial delegation from the US is likely to visit
India very shortly in this connection," Rao said. India was
hopeful of participation of US companies in India`s nuclear

Briefing the reporters about the high-profile visit, she
said the Prime Minister looks forward to continuing his
extremely productive dialogue with President Obama on a range
of issues, including the global economic situation, the threat
of terrorism, the challenges in India`s neighbourhood, and the
shared goals of sustained security, stability and prosperity
in Asia.

"The US Administration under President Obama has
expressed its commitment to strengthen Indo-US bilateral
relations further, building upon the existing level of
cooperation in various areas of bilateral and global
engagement," she said.

She also rejected reports that the government was speaking in different voices over 26/11 intelligence sharing by the US, and asserted that there has been unprecedented bilateral counter-terror cooperation.

"I don`t think the government is speaking in different voices. The bottomline is that there has been unprecedented cooperation," Rao said.

"We have not been denied any information," she added.

She was responding to a question on whether there were differences within the government over the nature of information sharing by the US over Pakistan-American David Headley`s link to the Lashkar plan to target Mumbai.

Two days ago, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon had stressed that the access given by the US to Headley was "unprecedented". His remarks came days after Home Secretary GK Pillai voiced disappointment over the US not sharing specific information on Headley, that could have helped New Delhi avert the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai mayhem and carnage.

-Agencies inputs