India, US have mature relationship despite niggles: Jaitley

23 January 2015

India and the United States have a mature relationship that can outlive differences, India's finance minister Arun Jaitley said during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ahead of US President Obama's visit to India.

"India, US have a mature relationship. There are huge areas where we agree with each other and areas where we may not come to a particular common view point, that is the maturity of the relationship that you can even survive those differences," he told a TV channel.

The finance minister said he wasn't privy to the detailed negotiations on Indo-US nuclear deal negotiations taking place in London, but said that "talks are in progress and he hopes for positive outcomes from the visit".

"I have no doubt that in areas of top priorities, we will see cooperation and we should be able to reach consensus," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama had decided to set up a high-level Contact Group on civil nuclear cooperation during the former's US visit in September last year.

Since then the group has held several rounds of detailed discussions on a range of implementation issues - administrative, liability, technical and licencing - to facilitate the establishment of US-designed nuclear power plants in India.

At a press briefing by the external affairs ministry on Thursday evening, spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that there was some progress in the talks in London.

Talking of the possibility of a deal on climate change, Mr Jaitley said that India and US have "different approaches" to climate change, but India is doing its own bit.

"India's entire energy programme is aimed in this direction. We are now in the non-conventional sector, coming out with more programmes than any other country in the world," he said.

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