India and the United States have agreed to build six American nuclear power plants in India, in an effort to boost bilateral civil nuclear energy cooperation.
The two nations made the announcement through a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 9th round of India-US Strategic Security Dialogue, held in Washington DC on March 13, 2019. The dialogue was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, who had led the Indian delegation and Andrea Thompson, the US under secretary of state for arms control and international security.
India-US Strategic Security Dialogue
During the key strategic dialogue, the two sides exchanged views on a wide range of global security and non-proliferation challenges and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and to deny access to such weapons to terrorists and non-state actors.
The two nations further agreed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of six US nuclear power plants in India.
The United States also reaffirmed its strong support of India’s early membership in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Notably, China has blocked India's pending membership to the elite grouping that seeks to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons.
India-US Space Dialogue
Earlier on March 12, 2019, the third round of India-US Space Dialogue was held, which was co-chaired by India's additional secretary for disarmament and international security affairs Indra Mani Pandey and Yleem DS Poblete, US assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance.
The two delegations discussed trends in space threats, respective national space priorities and opportunities for cooperation bilaterally and in a multilateral forum.
India and the US had signed a historic agreement to cooperate in the civil nuclear energy sector in October 2008. The deal gave a boost to bilateral ties, which have been on an upswing since.
A major aspect of the deal was the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that gave a special waiver to India enabling it to sign civil nuclear cooperation agreements with a dozen countries.
Following the waiver, India signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with the US, UK, France, Russia, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and South Korea.