Modi promises to take nuclear deal forward, extends defence pact 


Washington (IANS): Describing India and US as natural partners, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday assured the US of India’s commitment to take their stalled landmark civil nuclear deal forward and invited US defence companies to invest in India.

“India and US are natural partners and America is an integral part of our Look East, Link West policy,” he said addressing the media after a bilateral summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama which lasted over two hours, going over 45 minutes beyond schedule.

India and the US have decided to renew the framework agreement for defence cooperation for a further 10 years and the US would cooperate as knowledge partner for India’s planned National Defence University, officials said.

“President Obama and I talked about economic issues. Our economic relations will improve even further. India-US ties will also grow rapidly,” Modi said. “I want to welcome US defence companies.”

Speaking in Hindi, Modi, who had switched to a dark bandhgala suit for the summit, said: “”We are committed to the resolution of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries.”

“There was great convergence in international matters,” he said. On the issue of Afghanistan, “we both are committed to helping Afghanistan and improving our coordination in this area”, he said.

“We have agreed to consult and cooperate on climate change,” the prime minister said.

On the issue of trade facilitation, Modi said: “We had an open discussion on the WTO issue. We support trade facilitation but a solution that takes care of our food security must be found.

“Both sides are deeply concerned about the Ebola crisis in Africa, India has made a financial commitment of $10 million,” he said.

Thanking Obama for his warm welcome, Modi said: “I am glad to have been able to meet the President in the early part of my tenure.

“After the Indo-US summit in Mars, we are now meeting here,” said a smiling Modi. He also invited Obama and his family to visit India at an early date

Before Modi spoke, Obama wearing a navy blue suit and blue tie, said: “We have decided to deepen our existing ties with India.

He said they had discussed the international situation, security issues and Middle East violence and extremism. Their economic talks ranged from improved education to job training.

The remarks ended at 1.19 p.m. with both men standing to shake hands and smile for the cameras.