Obama, India’s Modi tackle climate change, nuclear energy

Obama, India’s Modi tackle climate change, nuclear energy

US president says he will support India’s inclusion in nuclear group

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Barack Obama and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, held their third Washington meeting on Tuesday since Modi came to power two years ago.

The meeting is part of a wider strengthening of ties between Washington and Delhi that has accelerated over the course of the U.S. pivot toward Asia.

During their meeting, the leaders discussed a range of issues including climate change, economic ties and security cooperation, according to the White House.

Part of that discussion focused on the construction of six Westinghouse nuclear reactors, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

That project will promote job growth in the U.S. and India, he added.

Obama said during brief remarks after their meeting that “We discussed the progress that we have made around civil nuclear energy and I indicated our support for India becoming part of the nuclear suppliers group”, referring an international group that works to prevent proliferation by controlling exports and transfers of nuclear material.

The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies did not participate in a press conference.

Former President George Bush ended a nearly 30-year ban on nuclear cooperation with India in 2005.

“A key priority for both of us is how to promote economic prosperity and opportunity, and poverty alleviation for our people,” Obama said.

“We continue to discuss a wide range of areas where we can cooperate more effectively in order to promote jobs, promote investment, promote trade, and promote greater opportunities for our people, particularly young people, in both of our countries,” he added.

That will include the implementation of a climate change accord brokered in Paris last December.

“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris agreement into force,” Obama said.

But Modi did not offer a firm commitment that his country will implement the accord anytime soon.

He is hoping to complete the accord by year’s end, Earnest told reporters.

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