November 24, 2009 / 5:54 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-US committed to completing India nuclear pact-Obama

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WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama told a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday that he was committed to completing a bilateral civil agreement that would open up India’s potential $150 billion market in power plants.

“I reaffirmed to the prime minister my administration’s commitment to fully implement the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement, which will increase American exports and create jobs in both countries,” Obama said after talks with Singh at the White House.

Singh echoed those words and welcomed the removal on curbs on U.S. high-tech exports to India.

“The lifting of U.S. export controls on high-technology exports to India will open vast opportunities for joint research and development efforts,” he said.

The 2005 civil nuclear deal that Singh signed with former U.S. President George W. Bush, ended the long nuclear isolation imposed on India after it tested an atom bomb in 1974.

But several issues need to be cleared up before U.S. businesses including General Electric Co (GE.N) and Westinghouse Electric Co, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T), can compete for billions of dollars in new reactor agreements.

India’s parliament has to debate a new law to limit U.S. firms’ liability in case of a nuclear accident. The United States has still not signed a nuclear fuel reprocessing agreement with India.

Editing by Sandra Maler paul.eckert@reuters.com; +1 202 789-8578; Reuters Messaging: paul.eckert.reuters.com@reuters.net

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