India and US have agreed to build six American nuclear power plants in India, in a boost to bilateral civil nuclear energy cooperation.
The two countries said this in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 9th round of India-US Strategic Security Dialogue yesterday.
The two had also signed a historic agreement to cooperate in civil nuclear energy sector in October 2008.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale represented India in yesterday's meeting
The deal gave a fillip to bilateral ties, which have been on an upswing since.
Yesterday's meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Andrea Thompson, the US under secretary of state for arms control and international security.
"They committed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of six U.S. nuclear power plants in India," the joint statement said.
Post NSG special waiver, India signed agreements with many countries
A major aspect of the deal was the NSG, which gave a special waiver to India, enabling it to sign cooperation agreements with a dozen countries.
Post-waiver, India signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with the US, France, Russia, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Sri Lanka, the UK, Japan, Kazakhstan and Vietnam, among others.
US also reaffirmed its strong support to India's early membership in NSG yesterday.
China has blocked India's pending membership to Nuclear Suppliers Group
Notably, China has blocked India's pending membership to the elite 48-member the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that seeks to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons.
During yesterday's meeting, India and US exchanged views on a wide range of global security and non-proliferation challenges and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
India, US also conducted third round of space dialogue
The two sides also agreed to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors.
On March 12, Indra Mani Pandey, India's additional secretary for disarmament and international security affairs, and Yleem D. S. Poblete, US assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, co-chaired India-US Space Dialogue's third round.
They discussed trends in space threats, respective national space priorities, etc.