Indian Prime Minister to meet with US congress during visit

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Indian Prime Minister to meet with US congress during visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with the U.S. president, American business leaders, and to make a rare address to the U.S. Congress.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone has a preview.

Indian Prime Minister to meet with US congress during visit

Indian Prime Minister to meet with US congress during visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with the U.S. president, American business leaders, and to make a rare address to the U.S. Congress. CCTV America's Jessica Stone has a preview.

Modi is coming to the U.S. expecting to close a deal for deeper defense cooperation his defense chief began in April.

In that month, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar announced a deal that would facilitate greater interoperability between the Indian and American navies — a measure Beijing is watching closely.

“This just facilitates the sharing of logistics on the ground when you already give an agreement of an American ship docking at port or something like that,” Rick Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in U.S. India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. “Or when you engage in exercise or something. Any time you have a tangible marker like this, and I’m sure that countries that look at this with some concern like China, they will point out that they’re concerned about the growth in the U.S.-India security relations.”

New Delhi also sees Washington D.C. as a key ally to help it gain entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group — a group of nuclear supplier countries, who regulate nuclear-related exports in order to prevent nuclear proliferation. Italy and China have opposed India’s membership, saying it, like other members, must first ratify the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“We have talked about our position many times. The NSG is an important part of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime which is based on the cornerstone of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in May.

India’s ambassador to the U.S. also told reporters last week that Westinghouse and India are in advanced stages of the negotiating a deal to build six nuclear power plants in India.

The talks have hinged on New Delhi and Washington D.C. developing a new workaround to India’s civilian nuclear liability law, which is considered a sizable hurdle for the country’s nuclear-suitors.

“What we have come up with us an insurance product. Primarily led by India government owned insurance companies to out money in a pool. That suppliers can buy into that would absolve them or at least pay off claims that arise from some type of nuclear accident in the future. So we are all waiting to see whether Westinghouse and other suppliers look at this insurance product as good enough for them to make the bet at becoming suppliers for India,” Rossow said. 

This visit also marks the first time Modi will address the U.S. Congress, which banned him from entering the country 11 years ago.