July 20, 2009Foreign AffairsIndianuclear dealnuclear powerUnited States

My op-ed in Mint: Don’t lose sleep over reprocessing

And anyway, the United States just confirmed that it won’t block ENR technology transfers to India

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Image: Jayachandran/Mint (Copyright © 2009. Mint)

In today’s Mint, I argue that the anxiety over the G-8 statement on restricting transfers of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies is unwarranted.

It might be that the Obama administration’s prejudices make it less sensitive to its own need to strengthen the India-US relationship by building on common interests. On any number of issues— from balancing China, stabilizing Afghanistan-Pakistan, to engaging Iran and addressing climate change—the US cannot do without India’s cooperation. It will be impossible for the United Progressive Alliance government to take bold steps in any of these areas if the US is seen as insensitive to Indian interests or, worse, reneging on its commitments. [Mint]

This is echoed by Arundhati Ghose, a stalwart of the Indian foreign service, in a piece that also appeared in the same newspaper. The India-US nuclear agreement, she notes was meant to remove the nuclear thorn in the side of Indo-US relations. Even if this issue is not on the agenda of secretary of state Clinton, the opportunity should not be missed to clarify issues rather than permit a potential irritant to fester.”

The good news is that when asked if if America opposed transfer of ENR technology to India, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton replied,”Well, clearly we don’t.“” The joint statement (linkthanks Ram Narayanan) at the end of her visit says India and the United States will begin consultations on reprocessing arrangements and procedures, as provided in Article 6 (iii) of the 123 Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation between India and the United States.”

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