President Obama backs Indian entry to nuclear technology

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India in the Oval Office at the White House on June 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Modi will address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption This was Mr Modi's seventh meeting with President Obama since he became PM in 2014

US President Barack Obama has backed India's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCG) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

India's entry into these groups will give it easier access to technology for research and advancement.

President Obama made the statement at a meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington.

The two leaders also signed agreements to boost co-operation in trade, military ties and climate change.

Mr Modi and Mr Obama also signed an agreement to enable US-based Westinghouse Electric Co to start building six reactors in India.

The US and India will "remain invested in each other's prosperity", they said.

Pakistan's growing sense of isolation? M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

There was no immediate Pakistani reaction to Mr Obama's expression of support for India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

But hours before the White House meeting, Pakistan's military and civilian leaders held urgent talks and said they noted "ongoing regional developments and inimical designs against our stability and prosperity".

Pakistan, India's arch-rival, also wants to join the NSG, with the backing of its ally China, but fears India's entry will block its chances.

It has watched India's improving relations with its other neighbours with growing unease.

Iran's Chabahar port, which is being developed in collaboration with India and Afghanistan, is seen as a security threat in Pakistan. The port will end India's quest for overland access to the Middle East and Central Asia, something Pakistan has successfully blocked since independence.

Tuesday's meeting was Mr Modi's seventh with Mr Obama since becoming prime minister in 2014.

A joint statement issued after the meeting said both countries "share common climate and clean energy interests" and are "close partners" in the fight against global warming.

The leaders also promised to ratify the Paris Agreement in their respective countries "as soon as possible this year".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The two leaders held a joint press conference on Tuesday

India is the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States.

"Noting that the US-India defence relationship can be an anchor of stability and given the increasingly strengthened co-operation in defence, the United States hereby recognises India as a major defence partner," the statement read.

Next on the agenda for the Indian prime minister is an address to a joint session of the US Congress on Wednesday.

Analysts say that the speech is significant because it "completes the circle of rehabilitation" for him.

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