India and the US today achieved a breakthrough in operationalisation of the stalled nuclear deal in a major outcome of the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama here today.
It is understood that the breakthrough was achieved over one-on-one talks between the two leaders over tea.
Both leaders also held extensive discussions on enhancing cooperation in crucial areas of defence, trade and commerce and climate change.
The ticklish liability issue had stalled the implementation of the nuclear agreement inked in 2005 between then US President George Bush and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Indian liability law holds the suppliers directly liable in case of a nuclear accident while countries like France and the US have asked India to follow global norms under which the primary liability lies with the operator.
After the official discussions followed by lunch, Modi and Obama went for a short stroll in the manicured gardens of the Hyderabad House.
Once they settled down at a special enclosure in the garden, Modi prepared tea for Obama as they continued their one-on-one discussion, reflecting heightened bonhomie between the two leaders.
Earlier, Obama arrived here to a red-carpet welcome by Modi on his unprecedented second visit.
In a departure from protocol, Modi received Obama and his wife Michelle at the Palam airport after they disembarked from Air Force One at around 9:50 AM for the three-day high-profile visit. Modi and Obama shook hands and hugged each other reflecting their personal chemistry.
Later, the US President was received by President Pranab Mukherjee in the forecourt of the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour and a 21-gun salute.
Obama, who has often talked about the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on his life, also visited Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial and paid homage to the ‘apostle of peace’.
The American President placed a wreath, showered rose petals at Gandhi’s memorial and bowed before it with folded hands for some time.
“What Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said that remains true today: The spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today and it remains a rare gift to the world. May we always live in this spirit of love and peace among all people and nations,” Obama wrote in the visitors’ book at the memorial.
Obama will be the first US President to grace the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest tomorrow.