India, UAE civil nuclear deal talks remain inconclusive

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018

Both the sides seek more time to sort out ‘technical aspects’

A civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was widely expected to be inked during the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, could not be concluded even as both the sides agreed to continue the talks.

Both the governments did initiate the discussions to have a deal on civil nuclear cooperation, but the talks did not come to a “meaningful conclusion”, officials told BusinessLine.

The officials said both parties failed to agree on certain “technical aspects” and as a result both have sought some “more time” before announcing it.

UAE’s Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna had said on Monday that India and UAE will sign a civil nuclear agreement during the visit of the Crown Prince. He had said the deal will be for peaceful usage of nuclear energy. The UAE also has plans to open research and development centres on the civil nuclear deal. But sources said the deal got stuck mainly on the issue of whether UAE can build nuclear reactors here.

In a desperate need to meet clean energy needs, India has set a target of achieving 270GW of nuclear power generation by 2050. The Centre plans to set up 60 nuclear reactors by 2030. Incidentally, on February 4 India ratified the nuclear liability convention with the objective to attract foreign suppliers to invest in the sector. Both sides also differed on the quantum of investments that the UAE intends to make from its sovereign wealth funds (SWF), sources said. UAE controls the world’s second largest SWF that stands at $800 billion. According to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, the UAE wants a separate channel to be established under which it will disseminate its investments.

Also read: I ndia, UAE negotiations soon on Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Published on February 12, 2016

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