07/20/2009, 00.00

No US-India agreement on climate but deals on arms and space programme

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on an official visit to India. She is unable to reach a deal is reached on climate change because the Indian government rejects binding limits on carbon emissions. However, India is a strategic partner for the US in the fight against terrorism. The secretary notes that Pakistan will continue to receive American aid.
New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – India and the United States have not found any common ground on climate change, but are prepared to work together on weapons and space programmes.
During her visit to India US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was unable to move New Delhi on binding limits on carbon emissions. She did stress however that she was confident that a deal on global warming could eventually be reached.
After meeting Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Clinton was positive about the talks, but her hope for a plan to significantly change India’s was of producing, consuming and conserving energy died when Ramesh said that there was “simply no case for the pressure that we—who have among the lowest emissions per capita—face to actually reduce emissions”.
Standing firm on binding limits on carbon emissions, India’s environment minister squashed hopes that an agreement with Washington could be reached before the UN conference on global warming scheduled for December in Copenhagen.
But global warming was not the only item on the agenda of Ms Clinton’s three-day visit. The two nations are set to discuss arms sales, civilian nuclear programme, scientific cooperation and space programme.
New Delhi and Washington are ready to sign an agreement allowing the sale and transfer of US military technology to India.
If approved it would an historic first in the relations between the two countries, who were on opposite sides during the Cold War.
The slow march towards rapprochement began under Bill Clinton and continued under Bush. Now it would bear fruit in an agreement that would allow US companies to play a role in the development of India’s civilian nuclear programme.
India’s role in the fight against terrorism is also another important item on the secretary’s agenda, especially in her direct talks with the Indian prime minister.
Mr Singh, who met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani last week, offered India’s erstwhile enemy a pledge of full relations and demand Islamabad fully cooperate on the hunt for the Mumbai attackers.
For Ms Clinton Indo-Pakistani dialogue is indeed crucial. But speaking before her meeting with Singh at a gathering of students and professors, she said that Pakistan will continue to receive American aid and India just has to live with that fact.
The other highlight of the secretary’s visit was the signing of an agreement to facilitate the launch of US satellites and satellites with US components on Indian launch vehicles.
The new Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) to be signed will cover launches involving satellites owned by US government or academic institutions or by third country space agencies and universities which have US equipment on board.
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