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U.S., India Leaders to Discuss Implementing Atomic Deal

When U.S. and Indian leaders meet on Friday they likely will discuss a bilateral civilian-atomic cooperation agreement that was signed in 2008 but has not been implemented because of a clash over financial culpability following a nuclear accident, Time magazine reported.

Friday's White House meeting will be the third summit between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two men also are expected to talk about trade matters and deepening their nations' defense ties.

When it first was inked in 2008, the U.S.-India nuclear-trade deal was seen as a game-changer. Supporters of the agreement said it would help bring the two democratic nations closer together and allow U.S. nuclear power companies to do business in a rapidly expanding energy market. Opponents, however, argued the accord would destabilize the atomic balance with Pakistan and send a negative message to the world as India developed nuclear weapons outside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Yet for all of the hope and worry surrounding the five-year-old deal, there has been little to show for it outside of an initial contract with the U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric that the Indian cabinet authorized on Wednesday, Reuters reported. U.S. atomic companies fear selling their technology to India out of concern they would be held liable under the country's domestic regulations should there be a nuclear accident involving their products.

During Singh's visit to the United States, he likely will confer with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Reuters separately reported. Observers predict the two leaders will discuss recent deadly skirmishes that have occurred along the two nations' Himalayan border.

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Country Profile

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India

This article provides an overview of India’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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