Politics in Asia. President Obama arrived in India on Sunday for a three-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties as the two countries appeared close to a long-sought deal on civil nuclear cooperation.
Indian news media reported that India and the U.S. were “on the verge of a breakthrough” that could pave the way for U.S. companies to build nuclear power plants in India, helping to reduce India’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for energy.
A nuclear deal was seen as one of the major goals of Obama’s second visit to India as president, with administration officials expressing hope that it could jump-start talks between the two nations on other contentious issues such as combating climate change.
The United States and India signed a landmark civil-nuclear cooperation pact in 2005, but implementation has stalled since India’s parliament passed a 2010 law that would hold nuclear suppliers liable in case of a nuclear accident. The law grew out of the memory of the deadly 1984 explosion at a gas plant in the Indian city of Bhopal, as well as New Delhi’s resistance to having terms dicated to it by Western countries.