PM arrives in US; N-deal, terror on agenda

Last Updated: Monday, November 23, 2009 - 20:43

Washington: Implementation of the landmark civil nuclear deal, the situation in Pakistan and terrorism
emanating from there would be high on the agenda as Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama meet here
tomorrow for talks during which they are expected to give a
major push to the Indo-US strategic ties.

The two countries will sign a number of pacts, including
an MoU on Counter-Terrorism to provide a legal framework for
stepped up cooperation against the menace, and discuss the
problem of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen Summit.

Singh, the first foreign leader to be hosted by the
10-month-old Obama Administration as the State Guest, arrived
here yesterday on a four-day visit during which he will
address the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee and
the Joint Business Forum besides meeting Obama, Vice President
Joseph Biden, Speaker of House of Representatives Nancy
Pellosi and a host of other senior leaders.

Singh and Obama will hold talks at the White House
tomorrow when the two leaders are expected to exchange views
on a range of issues, including terrorism, situation in the
region, climate change, economic and business ties,
agriculture and education.

The Prime Minister is expected to register India`s
concerns over diversion of US aid by Pakistan and press for
ensuring accountability to prevent misuse of funds and
equipment, sources said.

Singh is also expected to convey India`s disappointment
over non-cooperation by Pakistan in Mumbai attacks, whose
first anniversary is just three days away.

In this regard, the Indian side is likely to point out
that the trial against seven arrested people is still to begin
in the heinous crimes in which over 180 people, including some
American nationals, were killed.

Singh is expected to highlight that terror infrastructure
in Pakistan was still intact and the threat of more attacks
like 26/11 persisted.

New Delhi wants Washington to pressurise Pakistan to do
more on bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice
and dismantle terror infrastructure completely.

With regard to the implementation of the civil nuclear
deal inked last year, officials of the two countries are
racing against time to conclude negotiations on setting up of
Dedicated Reprocessing Facility in India.

For implementation of the nuclear deal, it is a key step
along with enactment of a legislation on Liabilities and an
assurance from India on non-proliferation, which is required
for the US government to give licences to companies for trade
with India.

Sources said the deal was in the "last stretch," with the
negotiations on reprocessing being in the "penultimate stage".

The two sides are hoping to finalise the reprocessing
arrangements by the time Singh and Obama meet.

With regard to the Liabilities Bill, it has been cleared
by the Cabinet and will be introduced in Parliament soon, the
sources said.

India will also provide assurance on non-proliferation
required by the US Energy Department to give licences under
Section 810.
PTI




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