Stressing that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal demonstrated the mutual confidence of their strategic partnership, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday said the US “looks forward” to realising its implementation “as soon as possible”.
Kerry, who arrived here earlier Sunday, also reiterated that the US backs India’s inclusion as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council and as a member of the four multilateral export control regimes (the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement).
A day ahead of his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for the Indo-US strategic dialogue, Kerry said the US is looking for “co-production and co-development in defence systems”.
He said India will “soon have more C-17s” Globemaster aircraft than any country in the world, even more than the US itself.
India and the US have inked a major defence deal for 10 C-17 aircraft for $4.1 billion in mid-2011. India is likely to go in for six more C-17s, according to reports.
Touching on the 2010 India-US civil nuclear deal, Kerry said he was “proud of the work I did in the civil nuclear cooperation” negotiations.
“That agreement demonstrates our mutual confidence of our strategic partnership,” he said and added: “We look forward to realising its full implementation as soon as possible” including in the efforts of Westinghouse to construct nuclear power plants in India.
Concerns about India’s civil nuclear liability law, which puts the onus on the firms, have held up implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Elaborating on India’s role in its security vision for the Asian region, Kerry said: “India is a key part of the US rebalance in Asia and we are committed to that rebalance”.
He said that India-US security interests are based on “a wide range of maritime and broader regional issues” and the US “values India’s role in our mutual efforts to ensure a stable and prosperous Asia”.
Praising India’s constructive role in Afghanistan, Kerry suggested that India could also play a crucial role in the Afghan 2014 elections.
“India can play a critical role in supporting these elections,” he said, and added that New Delhi could help “Afghanistan in improving the electoral system in creating a credible and independent framework for resolving disputes”.