New Delhi: Trying to take credit for the landmark civil nuclear deal between India and the United States, Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said that if at all it is a 'breakthrough', his party welcomes the move which was initiated by them.
“Welcome the fact that something we started has reached it's conclusion. If its a breakthrough we can hardly complain about it," Khurshid told reporters here.
The reaction comes shortly after India and the US sealed the civil nuclear deal, which had been stalled since 2008.
The announcement was made by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, brightening the prospects of the deal that was inked during the then prime minister Manmohan Singh's regime but was never implemented.
"The civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our option for clean energy," Modi said addressing a joint press conference with Obama here.
PM further said, "I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability."
Describing it as a "breakthrough understanding", Obama said the two leaders agreed to "advance our civil nuclear cooperation and we are committed to moving toward full implementation".
"It is an important step and shows us how we can work together to elevate our relationship," the US Prez added.
According to reports, US has withdrawn the tracking clause from the deal through an executive order.
The withdrawal of the tracking clause in the civil nuclear cooperation agreement would unblock billions of dollars of potential trade in nuclear energy and will also strengthen personal rapport.
The two sides signed a landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2008. Holding up the trade was India's reluctance to pass legislation shielding suppliers from liability in the event of a nuclear accident, a deviation from international norms.
The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight to China's assertiveness in Asia, but frequently grows frustrated with the slow pace of economic reforms and unwillingness to side with Washington in international affairs.
Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama landed in New Delhi for their three-day visit of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the Air Force Station at Palam to greet the visiting dignitaries. The three shared pleasantries before President Obama left for his hotel.
Later, President Pranab Mukherjee formally welcomed his US counterpart to India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
President Obama was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with a grand welcome ceremony followed by the Guard of Honour, where the battalion was led by Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force. The US President also received a 21-gun salute.
President Obama also visited Raj Ghat, paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi via a wreath and planting a sapling at his final resting place.
On his trip to India, President Obama has been accompanied by a sizable delegation of top leaders, including Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, among others.
President Obama, who is the chief guest of this year's Republic Day parade, will be the first US President to attend the Republic Day celebrations tomorrow.
Obama, who visited India in 2010, is also the first US President to visit the country twice while in office.
(With Agency inputs)