New Delhi, Feb 20: Visiting United States Senator John Kerry will meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here today.
Issues related to the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, climate change and developments in Pakistan are likely to be discussed during the meeting. During his visit here two years ago, Kerry had said he backed the agreement signed on July 18, 2005 by the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington. "In principle, I support the deal. It is a great game, a positive game, for India, the US and the global community," he had said.
The India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement aims to allow New Delhi to have access to American nuclear fuel and reactors. It is being seen as the centerpiece of a new, strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi and could help India meet its soaring energy needs.
The Indo-US nuke deal faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of the US Congress before the November 2008 presidential elections. Three steps are required to operationalise the deal.
India needs to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, get approvals from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and get a second backing from the US Congress.
The deal has been criticised by many outside India, including by some members of the US Congress, who say the deal unfairly rewards India and undercuts a US-led campaign to curtail the nuclear ambitions of nations like Iran.