November 18th, 2011
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Singh and Obama strengthen strategic ties

US India meet Bali: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama held a one hour long meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits. Dr Singh and Mr. Obama talked about strengthening the bonds of strategic ties put in place during the U.S. President’s visit to India in November last year.

They intend to push the Indo- US cooperation both at bilateral and at multilateral forums. Dr Singh said he explained to Obama the law of the land on liability issue regarding the civil nuclear deal.

“I explained to him that we have a law in place. Rules have been formulated. These rules will lie before our parliament for 30 days. Therefore, we have gone some way to respond to the concerns of American companies and within the four corners of the law of the land we are ready to address any specific grievances,” said Manmohan Singh.

The Prime Minister also said India was ready to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage. Ahead of the meeting, India had asserted that its domestic laws with regard to nuclear liability and compensation will have to prevail and any contention otherwise would not be realistic after the Fukushima incident.

Dr Singh said, “in the last one year, we have made progress in every direction, strengthening our bilateral cooperation in investment, trade, higher education, clean energy and defence.”

“I am very happy to report to you that today there are no irritants whatsoever in our working together in multiplicity of areas both bilaterally and on global issues,” Dr. Singh said. “We have strengthened in many ways the path set out during the historic visit, whether it is civil nuclear cooperation, whether it is humanitarian relief, in disaster management, or maritime security, all the issues which unite us in our quest for a world free from war,” he added.

In his opening remarks, the US president refereed to his “extraordinary” trip to India during which the two sides strengthened the bonds of friendship, commercial links and security cooperation.

“We continue to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our two countries are not just at the leadership level but also at personal levels,” said Mr. Obama.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together,” Mr. Obama said, identifying some of the issues as maritime security, non-proliferation and terrorism.

“The two leaders exchanged pleasantries while expressing immense happiness on meeting each other once again.


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