Ahead of Clinton visit, US says committed to NSG waiver

July 14th, 2011 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit here next week, the US’s acting envoy Thursday reiterated Washington’s commitment to the waiver granted by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to India in 2008 to enable full civilian nuclear cooperation that included the transfer of sensitive technologies.

“We are fully committed to implementing our previous agreement, including the 123 (bilateral civil nuclear accord) and nuclear waiver (granted by the NSG in September 2008),” US’s Charge D’Affaires A. Peter Burleigh told reporters here.

“Like other countries, we would like American companies to have nuclear contracts in India,” he said.

The US diplomat stressed that the US has removed most of Indian entities from the export control list and assured that the existing barriers in the way of high-tech trade will come down soon. “We would like to see expanded trade in high technology,” he said.

Clinton touches down here July 18 on a three-day visit for the second strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

During the meeting, Krishna is expected to seek a fresh assurance from the US about the NSG’s new guidelines at its plenary meeting in the Netherlands last month that tightens regulation of enrichment and reprocessing technologies (ENR) to countries which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Clinton is likely to reassure India that the new guidelines will not impact the clean waiver granted by the 46-nation nuclear cartel to India in September 2008 that reopened for New Delhi the doors for global nuclear commerce after a hiatus of 34 years. The access to ENR technologies was a key part of the historic India-US civil nuclear agreement the two sides signed in 2008.

Clinton is also expected to share Washington’s outreach efforts to help India become a member of the top four multilateral nuclear export regimes, including the NSG, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

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