After a White House meeting between Indian and US leaders on Tuesday, an American company has formed an agreement stipulating the building of six nuclear reactors in India.
The United States considers India a “major defence partner”, equal to America’s closest allies, for defence-related trade and technology transfers.
As the two-hour long meeting was been held with a working lunch, both the US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Pakistan to “bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice”.
They requested that their officials “identify specific new areas of collaboration” against groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and D Company.
The most important agreement was the deal for an American company to build nuclear reactors in India, which will mark the first since the signing of a milestone civil nuclear deal in 2008 by both countries.
According to the plan and statements made by White House officials, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and American firm Westinghouse Electric Company would shortly commence the engineering and site design work for the reactors although the final contract would be signed in June 2017.
The deal signified a crucial step in overcoming hurdles to the sale of nuclear reactors and fuel to India.
A White House statement said, “Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the leaders welcomed the start of preparatory work on-site in India for six AP 1,000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse and noted the intention of India and the US Export-Import Bank to work together towards a competitive financing package for the project.”
In a joint statement following the Obama-Modi meeting, the US-India defence relationship was evinced as a “possible anchor of stability”, which is expected to lead to technology sharing “at a level commensurate with that of (America’s) closest allies and partners”.
With the deal, India would be receiving licence-free access to a various number of dual-use technologies and in turn, it would commit itself to implementing a few unnamed measures to increase its export control objectives.
Both countries agreed to improve their work to promote co-production and co-development of technologies under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
The Indian Prime Minister’s offer to host a Summit on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism in 2018 was cordially received according to the joint statement.
It further said that both the US and India would work hand-in-hand to fight the threat of terrorists utilizing chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological materials.
The leaders recognize the continued dangers posed to “human civilisation by terrorism and condemned the recent terrorist incidents from Paris to Pathankot, from Brussels to Kabul.
“They resolved to redouble their efforts, bilaterally and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them.”
As the United States and India have “a defining counter-terrorism relationship for the 21st century”, both leaders highlighted additional steps to be taken to grow collaboration especially against the upsurge of terrorist threats.
Cooperation against threats from extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda, the militant Islamic State group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, D Company and their affiliates, not to mention deeper collaborations on UN terrorist designations. Based on this, their officials were directed to discover new areas of collaboration at the following meeting of US-India Counter-terrorism Joint Working Group.
“They also called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice.”