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William Burns to hold talks with NSA, FS

The civil nuclear agreement, signed by the two countries in 2008 will top the agenda when Burns meets National Security Adviser and Foreign Secretary.

New Delhi: India and the US are expected to make efforts to iron out irritants in the nuclear liability law for the implementation of civil nuclear deal during talks
US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will have here on Monday.

The civil nuclear agreement, signed by the two countries in 2008, will top the agenda when Burns meets National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other officials.

He is also expected to call on External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

Burns "will meet with senior government officials to discuss a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, underscoring the continued growth in the strategic partnership", the US embassy said in a statement announcing Burns` visit to India.

He will also visit Mumbai to meet business leaders and participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the American Consulate General`s new facility in suburban Bandra-Kurla complex.

Implementation of the civil nuclear agreement, signed in 2008 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then US President George W Bush, has been a matter of
contention, particularly due to American reservations on India`s nuclear liability law.

The US contends that the legislation is not in tune with the IAEA`s Convention on Supplementary Compensation thus making it difficult for US companies to start nuclear commerce with India.

The Prime Minister had told US President Barack Obama last month in Bali that India had gone "some way" to allay concerns of US firms on nuclear liability but made it clear that any specific grievance has to be addressed within the "four corners" of the law.

On Tuesday, Burns will travel to Hanoi for meetings with the Vietnamese leadership to discuss the developing strategic relationship between the two countries, including economic cooperation, people-to-people ties, and the ongoing human rights concerns.

Burns would visit Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, where he will meet a range of senior officials and other Malaysian leaders.


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