US nuclear summit-12th-13th April.

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US-India deal clouds nuclear summit
By Peter J Brown

For India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on Sunday tapped by US President Barack Obama for his first major one-on-one meeting at the sidelines of this week's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, much has changed since his visit to the US capital last November.

The two-day summit, which is focusing on making atomic sites and materials safer from terrorists, comes after last week's release of the latest US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and the signing in Prague of the US-Russia START nuclear arms control treaty. In May, there is also the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

There are sub-plots to the US-India engagement, including the




continuing dispute over Indian access to David Headley, the Mumbai terror suspect being tried in the US, relations with Pakistan and the situation in Afghanistan. Still, Singh's superb salesmanship is once again on display thanks to the US announcement in late March of a nuclear reprocessing agreement with India.

The deal will allow India to acquire spent nuclear fuel from the US, and as a result, places India in an elite group along with Japan and several European nations.

"At a time when overall relations have been under something of a cloud, the reprocessing agreement, and its timely completion, suggests that a bipartisan commitment at the highest levels of the US government on the single most consequential issue area in bilateral relations for New Delhi - high-technology trade - remains intact," said Sourabh Gupta, senior research associate at Samuels International Associates in Washington, DC.

This was billed as one of the expected outcomes of the broad "123 Agreement" - the name commonly used for the 2008 civilian US-India nuclear deal officially known as the US-India Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. But it has faced a barrage of criticism especially from domestic opponents in the US.

Unlike the new START treaty between Russia and the US, and the recent release of the NPR, the US-India deal has not captured everyone's attention as the curtain rises on the summit. Along with the summit's focus on the threat of nuclear terrorism, Iran and North Korea - though not officially on the agenda - are likely to feature heavily in Obama's talks with leaders.

In discussions with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Obama is likely try to cement China's commitment to pressuring Iran over its nuclear program through sanctions, as well as cool recent Sino-US tensions. The summit of 47 nations in Washington comes ahead of an alternative international nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran on April 17-18.

China has kept silent on the US-India nuclear reprocessing deal. The visit to China by India's Foreign Minister S M Krishna a fortnight ago may be one reason. China also advocates the right of all nations to pursue civilian nuclear programs and the peaceful uses of nuclear power in general. China probably prefers to mask its displeasure, since China will sit down with India again at the latest of the increasingly important BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) summits, to be held in Brasilia on April 16.

"From the day this agreement passed muster at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in September 2008 - despite their non-constructive role in the NSG at the time, Beijing has known that this was a done deal,'' said Gupta, referring the US-India nuclear reprocessing agreement. ''To their credit though, they have thereafter chosen to pursue their interest in somewhat stabilizing the political relationship with New Delhi, rather than publicly nurse their grievances about an arrangement that became the capstone of the US-India bilateral partnership."

While Beijing would like the US and the international community to accord a similar set of civilian nuclear arrangements to Pakistan, that is not going to happen, Gupta said. ''And Beijing is not likely to facilitate such bilateral cooperation either to the extent that it calls into question its treaty and norm-based commitments to the international non-proliferation regime."

On the other hand, China has taken the opportunity to send a strong signal both to India and the US via its critique of the NPR, which China's views as deliberately distorting China's nuclear intentions at time when the US's strategy involves surrounding China with nations that have rapidly evolving nuclear capabilities of their own.

"It is publicly known that the US once had hundreds of nuclear warheads aimed at China. Even today, it has numerous naval vessels deployed carrying nuclear weapons that can be retrained on China swiftly," said an editorial in China's Global Times newspaper in early April. "In Asia, China is surrounded by countries that have signed nuclear pacts with the US. It is the US, not China, that should provide more transparency regarding its nuclear intentions." [1]

The reference to "nuclear pacts" applies to both India and Japan equally.

"I wouldn't be happy if I were [President Jintao], but China is also to blame for not blocking the original Nuclear Security Group waiver for India which was approved by consensus," said Miles Pomper, senior research associate at the California-based James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "Still, I am not sure how much it will affect the tone of the summit, which is more focused officially on dealing with nuclear terrorism and, on the sidelines, on dealing with Iran."

India walks away the clear winner here. The Obama-Singh meeting further reinforces the perception that the US wants to highlight its strong relationship with India no matter how strong this relationship might be at present, especially in India's eyes.

"It is not the reprocessing capability right now that is the danger. India had sufficient capability to reprocess material in its existing unsafeguarded reactor facilities to build upon its stockpile," said Pomper. "It is what the agreement says about the willingness of the US to stand up to India, particularly when it comes the possibility of an Indian nuclear test such as one that clearly shows ability to develop a two-stage thermonuclear weapon. That is what I would worry about if I were China."

Pomper said the real problem with the deal is that it gives India a better deal in terms of reprocessing rights from the US than both Japan, which is a non-nuclear state, and Euratom, which is a mix of European nuclear and non-nuclear states.

"Not to mention those countries are closer allies to the US as well," said Pomper. "Those deals laid out explicit criteria under which the US could suspend the agreement. The most important of which that is in Euratom's [deal], for example, but is missing from the India deal is if the other party tests a nuclear device. This seems to open the door to further Indian nuclear tests. Also missing is a provision that it could be suspended in the case of a safeguards violation by Euratom and that was missing from this [agreement]."

Yes, there is a provision that if the agreement is suspended for more than six months, the US will have to enter into consultations on compensating India for its loss, too.

"For India, this is too good to be true, but US negotiators seem to have a congenital predisposition to giving away the store when they negotiate with India," said Pomper.

India is not changing any of its previously held positions with respect to nuclear issues as a result of signing this agreement. It will not be signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty anytime soon, for example. The same is true for the NPT.

Gupta emphasizes that the assurances that India has given here are contained "mainly within the understandings that were reached during negotiation of the umbrella 123 Agreement.

"Though the 123 Agreement, as read, leaves a degree of ambiguity as to what are the criteria for termination (so as to make ratification, then, of the deal palatable in both legislatures), a private communication from the State Department to then-chairman Lantos of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2008 - and presumably known to the Indian side - explicitly lays out these criteria," said Gupta. "They are: detonation of a nuclear weapon; material violation of the 123 Agreement; or violation or termination by New Delhi of its IAEA-negotiated safeguard agreement. These are assurances communicated by India."

Furthermore, as part of the arrangement and procedures of the March 2010 agreement, New Delhi has provided written bilateral undertakings on end-user guarantees as well as non-diversion of nuclear materials.

"All overseas-supplied reactors, fuel, as well as facilities reprocessing such irradiated fuel are also to remain under IAEA safeguards. The [arrangement and procedures] also specifically list the number of facilities to be covered and the procedure for 'consultation visits' to such facilities by US officials," said Gupta. US-India deal clouds nuclear summit
By Peter J Brown

India is very firm and relishes engagement in tough negotiations. These US visits may occur only every five years, for example. India makes no excuses, and retains its consistent hard-edged approach both in bilateral and multilateral forums.

"As far as the CTBT is concerned, our position is very well-known. It has been reiterated on a number of occasions. We are committed to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. That remains our position. That has been very clearly articulated to all our friends and partners," said India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao in response to a question at a press conference in New Delhi in early April.

India played trump card after trump card in this instance. The US




wanted only a single reprocessing facility in India, but India prevailed after citing the 123 Agreement, and in the end, multiple reprocessing facilities were approved.

"According to the final agreement, the reprocessing of spent fuel is meant to be done at two dedicated stand-alone facilities, with India allowed to make additions and modifications without going back to the US for additional negotiations," said Rajeswari Rajagopalan, a senior fellow in security studies at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. "In fact, India could take up the lead in setting up an international reprocessing center in India for the whole region. Such a facility could possibly aid Iran in getting reprocessed spent nuclear fuel for its civilian energy programs."

Iran will be a formal agenda item at the BRIC Summit for the first time. However, regardless of what does or does not happen in Brazil, the reprocessing agreement is behind schedule - and that it surfaced just before the Nuclear Security Summit is little more than a coincidence.

"The timing is not terrible, to start with. This agreement was meant to be concluded between India and the US way back in November 2009 during Singh's visit to Washington. However, the negotiations went on for several more months," said Rajagopalan. "It is up to the Obama administration to ably justify this to the Chinese leadership and the larger international community."

At a time when jobs are scarce and unemployment is high, the economic ramifications of this deal are not to be overlooked.

"This important step is part of the great, win-win narrative of the US-India global partnership, affirming the commitment of our two countries to realize the full potential of our landmark civil nuclear agreement [in 2008]," said US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer. "These arrangements will help open the door for US firms in India's rapidly expanding energy sector, creating thousands of jobs for the citizens of both our countries. We applaud India's outstanding track record on non-proliferation issues, and we look forward to our continuing cooperation in this area." [2]

In addition, the US has watched as Russian and European companies have become more active in the India nuclear energy sector. While the final passage of India's Nuclear Liability Bill is still an obstacle, it is expected that differences will be ironed out.

"France and Russia have been more enthusiastic about working with India in its civilian nuclear energy sector. In fact, the India-Russian agreement signed during Prime Minister Putin's visit envisages building up 16 nuclear reactors in three different locations, of which six are to be finished by 2017," said Rajagopalan. "If the US does not get its act together, Russia and France will clearly have a head start. It is quite certain that commerce and big business are issues that the US will understand and accordingly tailor its policies. In fact, conclusion of this agreement facilitates early participation by US firms in India's rapidly expanding civil nuclear market."

The politics of job creation and politics of nuclear non-proliferation are two different things entirely. In this instance, India enjoys such a unique status that the lines are easily blurred when it comes to figuring out exactly where the US is heading.

"Reprocessing is the Holy Grail for non-proliferation advocates,'' said Subrata Ghoshroy, senior associate in the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ''It is not such a bad idea as long as the facilities are under safeguards. Under the NPT, each nation has a right to technology for peaceful development of nuclear energy. So, we cannot deny specific technologies to countries. Now, it is true that India is not an NPT member state. So, it does not have that right. But, the US has branded India a 'responsible' nuclear state. So, how can we deny them this technology?"

By the way, India considers Iran to be a "responsible state" too in this regard.

"When we talk about nuclear security and the threat of nuclear terrorism, we are referring to it in a global context. All responsible members of the world community, international community, have a stake in ensuring that we have comprehensive nuclear security," said Rao in a recent news conference. "Iran is a country with which we have bilateral relations which go back many many years. It is a substantive relationship. We regard Iran as a very important country in the region and a country with which we have had, as I said, extensive bilateral relations and dialogue and cooperation. It is a responsible country."

As for the Russians, they benefit enormously in India from the inability of the US to establish and maintain firm policies.

"The Russians are not hampered by the liability issues as the US firms are. Russians are also cheap and they have maintained a long-standing relationship with the Indian [nuclear sector], when the US had sanctions on India. So, they do have a leg up," said Ghoshroy. "However, the Indians are interested in better technology, which the US could provide. The Russian presence continues to be significant, and as long as US equivocates perhaps of necessity between India and Pakistan, the Russian presence will continue."

As for the sense that things will simpler and less complicated as time moves along, well, there is little chance of that happening. The highway to nuclear energy nirvana features numerous large potholes.

"The Chinese also want reprocessing technology from the US. Pakistan may try to raise it, but it has lot on its plate given the continued controversy around the Khan network. It also wants a nuclear deal like India's," said Ghoshroy. "The main topics [at the Nuclear Security Summit] will be, of course, Iran and North Korea, which the administration wants and Israeli nukes, that both Israel and Obama do not want to discuss. Well, Netanyahu nixed that plan by not coming. The administration will also have a lot to defend about its new NPR."
 
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Briefing by MEA Official Spokesperson on Prime Minister's bilateral meetings

Washington, DC
April 12, 2010

MEA Official Spokesperson (Shri Vishnu Prakash): A very good evening to you all. I believe some of you went to the Convention Centre and I hope that you found the arrangements up to the mark.

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary had briefed you about Prime Minister’s meeting with President Obama. The Prime Minister has since had a number of engagements. I would like to brief you about three of his bilaterals - with the President of Kazakhstan yesterday and the Prime Ministers of Morocco and Canada today.

Let me start with Kazakhstan. The meeting between our Prime Minister and President Nursultan Nazarbayev took place yesterday evening. It lasted about 45 minutes. Prime Minister was assisted by the National Security Advisor and other officials. The President of Kazakhstan was assisted by the Oil Minister and the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is one of our key partners in Central Asia and also one of the most important countries in the region. You would recall that President Nazarbayev had visited India in January 2009 when he was also the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Celebrations. During his visit, a Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership was adopted which foresees comprehensive cooperation in a variety of sectors. The two leaders met again on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Yekaterinburg on 16th June 2009 and have also maintained telephonic contact.

Yesterday the two leaders reviewed the relationship, the agreements, the initiatives that had been agreed upon since President’s visit to India. President Nazarbayev spoke very appreciatively of India’s economic development and evinced interest in seeing Indian companies play a greater role, having an expanded presence in Kazakhstan. Both sides evinced an interest to enhance cooperation in a number of areas especially agriculture, civil construction, mining, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals as well as other sectors. They particularly spoke of concretizing collaborations and having projects and initiatives which could be implemented on ground at the earliest.

President Nazarbayev mentioned to Prime Minister that they were planning 170 major projects in a variety of sectors, to speed up the industrialization of Kazakhstan, and invited Indian companies to participate in these projects. He also noted that there was a Customs Union between Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia; and that Indian companies present in Kazakhstan could supply their goods, their services within the entire Customs Union.

As you are aware, there are interalia two pillars of our cooperation namely the hydrocarbons sector and the energy sector including the civil nuclear energy sector. During the visit of President Nazarbayev to India an agreement of cooperation was concluded between ONGC Videsh and KazMunaiGas in the Satpayev oil block which is a large oil block and said to be rich in hydrocarbon assets. Also, an MoU of cooperation had been concluded between NPCIL and Kazatomprom envisaging cooperation between the two sides, including for supply of uranium to India and other aspects.

During his meeting with Prime Minister, President Nazarbayev invited Indian companies to establish thermal power plants in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is hydrocarbon rich and they are keen on having more thermal power plants. He also told the Prime Minister that a framework for greater cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector would be approved soon by the Kazakh Government. As I mentioned, Indian companies have already evinced interest in E&P contracts in Kazakhstan. It was also agreed between the two leaders that an inter-governmental agreement on civil nuclear cooperation would be concluded soon.



Our External Affairs Minister is likely to pay a visit to Kazakhstan in May this year when a roadmap to implement the agreements and initiatives during the visit of President Nazarbayev is likely to be finalized.

I may add that the two leaders also discussed regional issues of interest including the situation in Kyrghizstan and Afghanistan. The two leaders agreed on the need for stability, security and economic development of Afghanistan, and also evinced concern at production of narcotics and trafficking of narcotics. President Nazarbayev was very appreciative of India’s role in reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan, and he remarked that once the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes, that would pave the way for a direct surface link between India and Kazakhstan.

The President invited Prime Minister to pay a visit to Kazakhstan which was accepted with pleasure. He also invited Prime Minister to participate in the third CICA Summit. CICA is the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. You would recall that Prime Minister Vajpayee had represented India in the first CICA Summit in Kazakhstan, which was held in June 2002. That is what I have on Kazakhstan.

Let me then move forward to Prime Minister’s meeting with his Moroccan counterpart, Prime Minister Abbas el Fassi, which took place today at 10:30 a.m. The Prime Minister of Morocco was assisted by his Foreign Minister and Energy Minister. They had a very useful exchange of views on enhancing our historic links which date back to the 14th century and increasing all-round cooperation. The discussions lasted about forty minutes.

We have maintained a tradition of high level exchanges with Morocco. King Mohammed VI had last visited India in 2003. The Moroccan Prime Minister has visited India in recent years. The two sides agreed that the next Joint Commission meeting at the level of the Commerce Ministers would be held in New Delhi soon when the foreign office consultations will also take place.

I would like to note that Morocco is one of our most important suppliers of phosphate, which is an important component of our bilateral cooperation. A number of leading Indian companies are present in Morocco doing mining and also converting rock phosphate into phosphoric acid which is then exported to India. Our bilateral trade has grown steadily and already exceeded one billion dollars last year.

Recently, Morocco signed an agreement with TERI on enhancing cooperation in renewable energy sector, particularly in solar and wind energy where India has considerable strengths and Moroccan Prime Minister spoke about enhancing, deepening cooperation in this sector. The Moroccan Prime Minister also expressed support for India’s candidature of UN Security Council. Both sides reflected similar views on the menace of terrorism and evinced an interest in enhancing cooperation in counter terrorism and intelligence sharing.

Today at about 6 p.m., Prime Minister had a very pleasant and fruitful exchange of views with his Canadian counterpart. You would recall that Prime Minister Harper had paid an official visit to India in November 2009 and the two Prime Ministers met within a couple of weeks thereafter again, at Port of Spain on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Summit. They discussed a number of bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest. They reviewed our cooperation in the trade and economic area. During the visit of Prime Minister Harper last year a target of 15 billion dollars in bilateral trade had been established. This is a target that we would like to achieve within a period of five years.

You would also recall that an MoU was signed on setting up a Joint Study Group to explore the possibilities of concluding a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada. The two Prime Ministers today expressed a hope that the report of the Joint Working Group would be available by May this year. During the visit of Prime Minister Harper to India in November 2009, an MoU of cooperation in the area of energy had also been concluded. Today the two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the discussions on an intergovernmental agreement on civil nuclear cooperation had been concluded and hoped that the agreement could be finalized and signed soon.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also noted that the 20th anniversary of the Kanishka bombing and crash fell in June this year. He remarked that there were continued concerns about the activities of extremist groups and hoped that their activities would be monitored by the Canadian side. Prime Minister Harper assured that they will do their best. The sides agreed that the officials would remain in touch.

Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister Harper also exchanged views on the important issue of climate change and the prognosis of the next conference which would be held in Mexico towards the end of this year.

They had a substantive exchange of views on the forthcoming G20 summit which would take place in Toronto in June this year. Our Prime Minister is expected to attend the summit.

Prime Minister Harper sought our Prime Minister’s views on the agenda of the forthcoming summit and what could be its focus. Prime Minister Singh observed that the G20 framework or mechanism had helped overcome the immediate financial crisis, but had now to move ahead to deal with the larger issue of global imbalances and reforms of the international financial institutions.

Prime Minister also outlined a need for a stable and predictable regime of capital flows especially for the developing countries. He spoke about the nature of the Indian economy, its strong fundamentals, the growth path that we have charted out for ourselves, the expectation that within a couple of years we will re-attain a growth rate of nine per cent or even get into a double-digit growth rate for which we needed a conducive and enabling international environment. Prime Minister particularly underlined that India was not contributing to global imbalances as we were not a mercantile economy.

Prime Minister Harper spoke about Canadian interest in using G20 to develop a framework to encourage balanced and sustainable growth internationally. Their meeting lasted more than half an hour. This was as far as the exchange of views between Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Canada is concerned.

That is the reading I have on three of the bilateral meetings of Prime Minister. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Question: We are given to understand that there was a brief exchange between Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Can you fill us in on this?

Official Spokesperson: I understand that at the reception Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh shook hands with each other and exchanged pleasantries. That is what I know at the moment.

Question: How long did it last and where was it? Was it in the main area or in the corridor?

Official Spokesperson: It was at the reception that President Obama had hosted. And pleasantries last the usual time that the pleasantries last. So, it was an exchange of pleasantries.

Question: Was it just the two of them or were the delegations on their side?

Official Spokesperson: What I understand is that when the Prime Minister went to the Convention Centre he greeted and was greeted by a number of world leaders. He exchanged pleasantries with a number of world leaders. Also he shook hands with Prime Minister Gilani. Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

Question: I was wondering who took the initiative. Did they just bump into each other or somebody walked up to the other? Did Gilani walk up to Manmohan Singh and say hello?

Official Spokesperson: What I understand is that the two leaders shook hands with each others, they exchanged pleasantries.

Question: Were the pleasantries in Urdu and was there any poetry in that, some couplets?

Official Spokesperson: We will try to get you further details. At the moment what I know I have happily shared with you.

Question: Two questions. One is, did Gilani mention Balochistan? Second, this line that you said that India is not contributing to global imbalances he told Stephen Harper. What is the context in which he said it?

Official Spokesperson: On the first question, I have already shared the information I have on the subject. On the second question, as I said, Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister Stephen Harper were talking about the G20 process. Prime Minister Singh mentioned that the G20 process had helped in overcoming the immediate financial crisis, that we required a stable regime, a transparent financial regime. He spoke of the need for reforms of international financial institutions and so on so forth. He also gave his Canadian counterpart a perspective on the Indian economy. He spoke about our growth aspirations, our developmental aspirations, spoke about the strong economic fundamentals of the Indian economy, the growth path that we are on, and the nature of the Indian economy. It is in this context that he mentioned that Indian economy is not contributing to global imbalances and that since we are inter alia not a mercantile economy.

Question: One question is about this meeting of the two Prime Ministers. From reliable sources we were told today there that it was a very well arranged in a flash of a second and both were informed that this was going to happen and they both agreed before hand and then they proceeded. Can you tell us who was the third party who arranged it? The second question is, with Kazakhstan the main theme that comes out is human rights and media freedom in Kazakhstan. Was it mentioned at all?

Official Spokesperson: On the first question, I have shared with you all the details that I have. On the second question, I have at length elaborated on the nature of discussions between President Nazarbayev and Prime Minister. I have taken you through all the salient aspects of their discussions. I have even shared with you the duration of the discussions, the participants at the discussion and so on. So, I have already shared with you all the salient details of the discussion.

Question: Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh likely to announce the setting up of a Global Nuclear Security Centre to be funded by India?

Official Spokesperson: Very valid question. Let us both wait for the outcome of the Summit tomorrow and we will have the results.

Question: Is India watching carefully to see during the Summit or otherwise what China says to the US or in general about Pakistan civil nuclear deal? In the past there were Pakistani sources who said that China is supporting Pakistan’s effort to have a civil nuclear deal with the US. Is this something that you are tracking? Is it something that you are hearing about? If they do do this, what is India’s response to it?

Official Spokesperson: Let me remind you that the Nuclear Security Summit is not about specific countries. In the Nuclear Security Summit what the leaders are proposing to discuss is the issue of tackling, combating nuclear terrorism, the question of securing nuclear technologies, nuclear materials and so on. It is that is what being addressed. It is not a country-specific initiative.

Question: Mr. Shivshankar Menon was supposed to meet his counterpart today. Do you have any update on that?

Official Spokesperson: I wanted to give you a perspective on the meetings that Prime Minister of India had with three of the leaders. On the other questions, we will be happy to take them in due course.

Question: The US Vice-President today hosted a lunch for around ten leaders from Non-Aligned Movement countries saying that it is the US-NAM meeting. India is the founder member and the leading country in the NAM. Why was India not invited to this? Was India invited for this meeting?

Official Spokesperson: I need to check. I am not aware of that.

Question: Most of the think-tanks are saying, including the US, that this summit is about nuclear terrorism and Pakistan is the hub and it might fall in the hands of terrorists. Of course India is also worried. But what Pakistan is saying in these meeting is that Pakistan is not worried about nuclear terrorism or terrorists but it fears India. What is the fear from both sides and how this fear will go away and what India should do now?

Official Spokesperson: In response to Natasha’s question I have already answered that. I have already shared with you our perspective.

Question: You mentioned Canada, you mentioned Kanishka, and you mentioned that the Prime Minister wanted an assurance from his counterpart on monitoring. This has been going on for quite some time. There is no tangible result which has been achieved. Are they willing to share intelligence on this with India?

Official Spokesperson: As I mentioned, Prime Minister observed that in June 2010 would be the 25th anniversary. He mentioned about continuing concerns on the activities of terrorist organizations, groups. He requested the Canadian authorities to monitor their activities and Prime Minister Harper said that they will do their best. Also it was agreed that the officials on both sides would remain in regular touch.

Question: Prime Minister is meeting President of France tomorrow. Can you give a sense of what issues are likely to be discussed? Also, when you talk about Canada, that business of monitoring terrorist activity, did the Prime Minister mention the specific terrorist groups?

Official Spokesperson: Tomorrow, Prime Minister is likely to meet with the President of France. The meeting is at 11:30. Tomorrow, at 6:30 Prime Minister of India is going to have a media interaction. Either during that or before that we will share with you the outcome, or give you a sense of the discussions between Prime Minister of India and President Sarkozy. But I may add here that during their meeting all matters of bilateral interest and regional and international interest will be discussed. That was on the first question. On the second question about the Kanishka incident and Kanishka crash and the activities of the groups, I have already shared with you what had to be shared.

Question: Two questions. Are India and Canada planning a joint commemorative event as well for the 20th anniversary of Kanishka? Secondly, on the meeting with the Moroccan Prime Minister, I was just curious when was the last time that India met Morocco at the Prime Ministerial level or perhaps King Hassan? How many years after has such a meeting taken place?

Official Spokesperson: About a possible commemorative event I will check and come back to you. According to the details that I have Mohammed VI had visited India as the Crown Prince in the late 1990s. Again he visited India twice, in 2001 and 2003. The former Moroccan Prime Minister visited India in December 2004. Our Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee, visited Rabat in 1999. This is at the summit level. But we have had Foreign Ministers visiting and so on. So, I did remark that we have had a regular high-level exchange in recent years in particular with Morocco. One of the important pillars of the relationship has been the trade and economic relations. Morocco is the largest rock phosphate and phosphoric acid supplier to India. We have leading Indian industrial houses including the Birlas, the Tatas, the Chambal Fertilisers group, and the others, were present in Morocco. So, that is broadly how the relationship has been evolving.

Question: Can you tell us whether Secretary Rao and Hillary Clinton will be meeting or have they already met?

Official Spokesperson: As far as I know, no such meeting has taken place today.
 

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Statement by the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Nuclear Security Summit

Washington, DC
April 13, 2010

President Barack Obama,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Heads of Delegations,

Nuclear security is one of the foremost challenges we face today. I therefore wish to commend President Barack Obama for his initiative in convening this Summit on Nuclear Security. We would like the Summit to lead to concrete outcomes which help make our world a safer place.

The developmental applications of nuclear science in areas such as medicine, agriculture, food preservation and availability of fresh water are by now well established. Today, nuclear energy has emerged as a viable source of energy to meet the growing needs of the world in a manner that is environmentally sustainable. There is a real prospect for nuclear technology to address the developmental challenges of our times.

In India we have ambitious plans for using nuclear energy to meet our growing energy needs. Our target is to increase our installed capacity more than seven fold to 35000 MWe by the year 2022, and to 60,000 MWe by 2032.

The nuclear industry’s safety record over the last few years has been encouraging. It has helped to restore public faith in nuclear power. Safety alone, however, is not enough. The challenge we face today is that of ensuring nuclear security.

The danger of nuclear explosives or fissile material and technical know-how falling in to the hands of non-state actors continues to haunt our world. India is deeply concerned about the danger it faces, as do other States, from this threat.

Since 2002, we have piloted a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on measures to deny terrorists access to Weapons of Mass Destruction. We fully support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

The primary responsibility for ensuring nuclear security rests at the national level, but national responsibility must be accompanied by responsible behaviour by States. If not, it remains an empty slogan. All States should scrupulously abide by their international obligations. It is a matter of deep regret that the global non-proliferation regime has failed to prevent nuclear proliferation. Clandestine proliferation networks have flourished and led to insecurity for all, including and especially for India. We must learn from past mistakes and institute effective measures to prevent their recurrence.

The world community should join hands to eliminate the risk of sensitive and valuable materials and technologies falling into hands of terrorists and illicit traffickers. There should be zero tolerance for individuals and groups which engage in illegal trafficking in nuclear items.

Global non-proliferation, to be successful, should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament.

We welcome the fact that the world is veering around to our view that the best guarantor of nuclear security is a world free from nuclear weapons.

Starting with Jawaharlal Nehru over five decades ago, India has been in the forefront of the call for global and complete nuclear disarmament. In 2006 India proposed the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention. We have also expressed our readiness to participate in the negotiation of an internationally verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had put forward a concrete Action Plan in 1988 for the universal and non-discriminatory elimination of nuclear weapons leading to global nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework.

Today, I once again reiterate India’s call to the world community to work towards the realisation of this vision.

We welcome the agreement between the United States and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals as a step in the right direction. I call upon all states with substantial nuclear arsenals to further accelerate this process by making deeper cuts that will lead to meaningful disarmament.

We are encouraged by the Nuclear Posture Review announced by President Obama. India supports the universalisation of the policy of No First Use. The salience of nuclear weapons in national defence and security doctrines must be reduced as a matter of priority.

The dangers of nuclear terrorism make the early elimination of nuclear weapons a matter of even greater urgency.

The Indian Atomic Energy Act provides the legal framework for securing nuclear materials and facilities, and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board ensures independent oversight of nuclear safety and security. We are party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment.

India’s three stage nuclear power programme which began sixty years ago is based on a closed nuclear fuel cycle. A direct benefit of this is that it ensures control over nuclear material that is generated as spent fuel. At the same time, we are continually upgrading technology to develop nuclear systems that are intrinsically safe, secure and proliferation resistant. We have recently developed an Advanced Heavy Water Reactor based on Low Enriched Uranium and thorium with new safety and proliferation-resistant features.

India has maintained an impeccable non-proliferation record, of which we are proud of. As a responsible nuclear power, India has and will not be the source of proliferation of sensitive technologies. We have a well-established and effective export control system which has worked without fail for over six decades. We have strengthened this system by harmonisation of our guidelines and lists with those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Our commitment to not transfer nuclear weapons or related materials and technologies to non-nuclear weapon states or non-state actors is enshrined in domestic law through the enactment of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act. We stand committed not to transfer reprocessing and enrichment technologies and equipment to countries that do not possess them.

As a founder member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, we have consistently supported the central role of the IAEA in facilitating national efforts to strengthen nuclear security and in fostering effective international cooperation. We have so far conducted nine Regional Training Courses on Nuclear Security in cooperation with the IAEA. We have entered into a Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA in 2008, and have decided to place all future civilian thermal power reactors and civilian breeder reactors under IAEA safeguards.

We will continue to work with the IAEA and our partners in the United Nations as well as other forums such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to upgrade standards, share experiences and ensure effective implementation of international benchmarks on nuclear security.

I am happy to announce on this occasion that we have decided to set up a “Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership” in India. We visualize this to be a state of the art facility based on international participation from the IAEA and other interested foreign partners. The Centre will consist of four Schools dealing with Advanced Nuclear Energy System Studies, Nuclear Security, Radiation Safety, and the application of Radioisotopes and Radiation Technology in the areas of healthcare, agriculture and food. The Centre will conduct research and development of design systems that are intrinsically safe, secure, proliferation resistant and sustainable. We would welcome participation in this venture by your countries, the IAEA and the world to make this Centre’s work a success.

I thank you.
 

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