Onus on private firms to take N-power deal forward: US envoy

11 February 2015

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said today that the onus of leveraging the civil nuclear deal between the two countries now lies with private companies.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Verma said private companies must now assess if they are comfortable with the legal environment and the commitment to international practices.

He said the governments of both countries will help companies looking to leverage the possibilities thrown open by the agreement sealed during US President Barack Obama's visit to India last month. He also said that US will work "very hard" at operationalising this deal.

Verma said the improvement in Indo-US ties indicate the "dawn of a new era" and the two biggest democracies in the world can have a powerful impact on other countries as well.

The newly-appointed ambassador said that he would like to leave behind a legacy where the US turns into India's "best partner" from the current position where both sides see each other as just "natural partners".

Verma said there is strong bi-partisan support in Washington for the Indo-American relationship and a transition in power in the US two years from now will not impact the relations between the two countries.

Defending President Obama's controversial speech at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium, where he flagged the issue of religious intolerance, Verma pointed out that President Obama also illustrated the problems he faced back home.

On the strained Indo-Pakistan relations, the ambassador said the US will work with both New Delhi and Islamabad for resumption of a constructive dialogue between the neighbours.


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