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Nuclear contact group working to address clarification: US

India and the US are working on addressing any clarifications that private companies might seek about the understanding reached between the two countries regarding civil nuclear cooperation during President Barack Obama's New Delhi visit.



Washington: India and the US are working on addressing any clarifications that private companies might seek about the understanding reached between the two countries regarding civil nuclear cooperation during President Barack Obama's New Delhi visit.

"The India US Civil Nuclear Contact Group is continuing its work to address any areas that require further clarification, but we do believe that the understandings that were reached between the US and India during the visit of the (US) President (to India) fundamentally address the outstanding concerns that we had and advance civil nuclear cooperation," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, said yesterday.

"We do believe that this was a significant breakthrough. We had a major breakthrough in advancing the civil nuclear cooperation and that we, the US, and the Indian Government reached understandings on these issues of nuclear liability," she said.

The Indian side has put forward certain additional information and clarifications on their interpretations, she said, adding that the two countries are exchanging information on those details between them as well.

"We believe, at the end of the day, that industry will have to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions with respect to the commercial opportunities that exist and the parameters under which they're ready to start down that path," Biswal said.

India has clarified its compliance within the Vienna Convention on Supplementary Compensation, and that that has provided an understanding on which we believe this can move forward, she said.

"They've also put forward additional information with respect to insurance pools that can also provide additional risk mitigation. So from our perspective, these understandings are important in being able to advance civil nuclear cooperation and move towards commercial opportunities," she said.

Biswal said the Indian government is providing further information and clarification through their Q&A that they have been putting forward.

"There have been some additional statements, including by the Prime Minister, that also, provide further clarity. And we also know that, we are in the process of exchanging communication that help to clarify these issues, and so I'm not going to get ahead of that process," she said. 

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