Washington: The US has asked India to deliver the commercial promise of the historic civil nuclear agreement between the two countries.
"For my Indian colleagues, I would emphasise the importance of delivering on the commercial promise of this agreement -- to put it in the American vernacular, we need to finish what we started," Geoffrey Pyatt, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said at a meeting held on the sidelines of the 38th annual US India Business Council (USIBC) on Thursday.
"The 2005 nuclear deal the successful collaboration that produced the 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group exception and the Obama Administration`s rapid negotiation of reprocessing arrangements completed in 2010 are illustrations of what we can accomplish when we work together in the spirit of shared enterprise," he said.
India and the US are now tantalisingly close to the first commercial contracts between India`s Nuclear Power Corporation and a major US nuclear supplier, Pyatt said.
"The prompt conclusion of these early commercial contracts should be a priority for both our governments and would be an important signal to skeptics that the US-India strategic partnership is living up to its promise and delivering real benefits for people in both our countries," Pyatt said in his remarks.
He said the defence relationship between the two countries have increased tremendously in recent years.
"We are committed to further strengthening our already robust defence trade relationship with India. We are proud to have a growing track record of major system sales, including C-17 and C-130J transport aircraft, P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, and are on the cusp of signing many more deals," Pyatt said.
"This is significant progress from where we started a decade ago. We have now signed more than 20 Foreign Military Sales cases for defence articles and services with India. Our Direct to Commercial Sales, the number of licenses issues, and the complexity of those licenses all continue to increase," he said adding that the defence sales are more than mere transactions.
"We both endeavour to move beyond a transactional defence relationship. Large, complex weapons systems are meant to last years, even decades. These systems require maintenance and upgrades throughout their life cycle. Indeed, the initial sale of a defence system is often just the starting point of a long-term relationship," Pyatt said.
The United States, he said, views the defence sales as a means to the greater end of building a strategic partnership that will foster cooperation in areas of mutual interest.