New Delhi: The US and India can work through "any differences" through good communication and coordination and by making sure that "words are matched by deeds", US President Barack Obama has said as an India-US nuclear contact group is engaged in hectic negotiations to iron out contentious issues over implementing the civil nuclear deal.
Obama, in an email interview to the India Today news magazine ahead of his three-day India visit, acknowledged that there are differences between the two nations.
He said: "No two nations agree on everything, and so of course sometimes India and the United States will disagree. But I believe that we can work through any differences in a spirit of mutual respect. Moreover, whatever differences we may have are greatly outweighed by the many interests we have in common."
He said for this "good communication and coordination" is required not just between the leaders but between governments.
"When those of us at the leadership level agree on a course of action, our governments have to actually implement our decisions. We have to make sure that words are matched by deeds," Obama said, in a tacit indication of the delay in implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
The deal was inked in 2005 and the US Congress approved of the 123 agreement bill and it was signed into law in 2008. But India`s tough civil nuclear liability law, which puts the onus on suppliers, has held up implementation of the mega deal.
It is learnt that the contact group, which was to wind up negotiations on Wednesday, has extended the talks by a day - pointing to the urgency of the move ahead of the state visit of Obama on Sunday.
Obama would get down straight to business with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his arrival on Air Force One.
The external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said during a briefing Thursday that negotiators from both sides were "working in a collaborative manner" in London. The meeting is the third of the contact group that comprises diplomats and officials associated with nuclear energy from both the countries. It was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama during their September summit meeting in Washington to push forward implementation of the civil nuclear deal.
The fact that the group is meeting for the third time in 45 days is an indication of "the element of effort in discussions on the nuclear issue", the spokesperson said.
The main stumbling block is believed to be the US insistence on rights in perpetuity over any material or equipment in the US reactors, which India is opposed to terming it intrusive.