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US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Mr. William Burns remarks for the signing of the U.S.- India reprocessing arrangements and procedures

Washington, DC

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to welcome my distinguished colleague, Ambassador Meera Shankar, and her colleagues from the Indian Embassy, as well as my own colleagues from the State Department and other agencies of the U.S. Government. 

This is an important moment in the U.S.-India Partnership.  These Arrangements and Procedures will enable India to reprocess U.S.-obligated nuclear material at a new national reprocessing facility in accordance with the U.S.-India Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation, representing another significant step in the overall implementation of our historic civil nuclear cooperation initiative.  It is significant in several important respects.

First, it is significant for what it says about the depth of the mutual commitment of our two governments to the full implementation of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

It is also significant in practical terms.  It will create new opportunities for firms in the United States and India in the energy sector, generating thousands of jobs in both countries.  It will also help make available affordable energy and electricity for all Indians.

Finally, it is significant for what it says about the mutual trust and confidence we have developed between our two countries, a foundation on which I’m certain we will build still more important achievements in the future.

I would also like to take a moment to recognize in particular the negotiating teams on both sides whose hard work and dedication made this agreement possible.  I would like to express my special admiration and appreciation to Dick Stratford and his team, as well as their skillful Indian counterparts.  I know these are complex issues to navigate.  Their ability of our teams to complete these negotiations six months ahead of schedule speaks volumes about what we can accomplish together.  In that respect, I look forward to the visit to India of President Obama in November.

Again, I would like to reiterate how delighted I am to welcome you, Ambassador Shankar, and the other guests to the Treaty Room to commemorate this important occasion.