New Delhi: Eyeing deeper cooperation, India and the UK have agreed to take forward consideration of an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. The two countries had decided in February 2013 during UK Premier David Cameron's visit to start negotiations on a civil nuclear pact to facilitate the entry of British companies into the emerging Indian atomic power sector.
"Recalling the understanding reached during the UK Prime Minister's visit to India in February 2013, it was agreed to take forward consideration of an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Friday. Foreign Secretary Rangoon Mathai had on Thursday held Foreign Office Consultations with his UK counterpart Permanent Under Secretary Sir Simon Fraser on all aspects of the bilateral relations.
Mathai visited London on June 19-20 for the annual India-UK Foreign Office Consultations. Discussions included a detailed follow up of the decisions reached during Cameron's visit to India. The situation in India's neighbourhood, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Middle-East/West Asia and East Asia was discussed, the statement said. The two sides noted that frank exchange of views helped promote better understanding of each other's positions towards the shared goal of obtaining peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.
It was noted that trade and investment engagement between the two countries holds considerable promise. "In this context, they reviewed the progress made on major economic and commercial issues including the joint feasibility study for the Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor," the statement said. Both the sides underscored the importance of their ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism and cyber security and looked forward to the next round of senior expert-level bilateral dialogues in these areas of shared concern.
The UK reiterated its commitment to raising bilateral cooperation on high technologies to a new higher level and expressed support for India's membership of multilateral export control regimes. The two sides also discussed cooperation in higher education, scientific research energy and health sector. Mathai also called on British National Security Adviser Kim Darroch and the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire.