PM welcomes US relaxation of export controls

PM welcomes US relaxation of export controls

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed Monday a decision by the United States to relax restrictions on the export of technology that can be used for military purposes.

Washington had previously prevented exports of so-called “dual use" technologies, a category of exports that can be employed for military as well as civilian purposes.

The United States imposed restrictions after India conducted nuclear tests in May 1998 to international condemnation.

“We welcome the decision by the United States to lift controls on export of high technology items and technologies to India," Singh told a joint press conference with President Barack Obama.

He also welcomed US support for India’s membership of “multilateral export control regimes such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group," a group of nuclear suppliers that restrict exports of their technology to prevent proliferation.

“This is the manifestation of the growing trust and confidence in each other," Singh added.

Washington has also lifted licensing restrictions on several Indian defence and space entities.

Michael Froman, Obama’s deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, told reporters Saturday the reforms reflected Washington’s view of India as a strategic partner rather than “a country of concern".

India and the United States last year signed a historic civilian atomic energy deal which ended decades of India’s status as a nuclear pariah and marked a new beginning between the countries .