Modi, Obama announce nuclear breakthrough after talks

Modi, Obama announce nuclear breakthrough after talks
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama walk through the gardens between official meetings at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on January 25, 2015.

NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Narendra and US President Barack Obama announced they had reached an agreement Sunday to break the deadlock that has been stalling a civilian nuclear power agreement.

"I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our laws (and) international legal obligations," Modi said at a joint press conference with Obama in the Indian capital New Delhi.

The two countries in 2008 signed a landmark deal giving India access to civilian nuclear technology, but it has been held up by US concerns over India's strict laws on liability in the event of a nuclear accident.

While there were no immediate details on how the impasse had been broken, India has reportedly offered to set up an insurance pool to indemnify companies that build reactors in the country against liability in case of a nuclear accident.

"Today we achieved a breakthrough understanding on two issues that were holding up our ability to advance our civil nuclear cooperation and we are committed to moving towards full implementation," said Obama.

"This is an important step that shows how we can work together to elevate our relationship."

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