Unfortunate that Indo-US nuclear trade has stalled, says Washington

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US president Barack Obama (File pic)

Washington: The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal was billed as the corner stone of the burgeoning strategic partnership between the countries. However, five years later, the deal has not gone according to the script, and the US says the nuclear commerce has not benefitted the Americans who did most of the global diplomatic heavy lifting.

India's people-friendly nuclear liability regime has reportedly irked the US.

"The nuclear issue is complex. US is not frustrated but India's nuclear liability law is a concern and it is unfortunate that nuclear trade has not commenced," said Richard Stratford, director of nuclear energy, safety and security at the US state department.

However, Mr Stratford says he is hopeful that the first contract will be inked soon, even though the "solution to the nuclear liability imbroglio is yet not known".

Sources say the Indo-US relationship has hit a plateau. It has been more than five years since the bonhomie of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal brought the world's oldest and largest democracies together, but since then the commercial benefits emerging out of the nuclear deal have eluded the US; the French and Russians have both benefitted from the deal.

There is however hope in the air that 'a small contract' will be inked when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barrack Obama meet next month in Washington.

Mr Stratford emphatically says "there will be no repeat of Tarapur atomic fiasco" and insists that the "Indo-US relations are stronger than before".
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