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The 10th Anniversary Of The U.S. - India Civil Nuclear Deal

Remarks By Nisha Desai Biswal

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

Conference Hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Confederation of Indian Industry

Washington, DC

U.S Department Of State, 13 July 20152015

Thank you – and good morning everyone. This is an impressive turnout for a gray Monday morning and a credit to our host and the all-star lineup that we have such a strong showing. Carnegie continuously puts forward an impressive array of insights and analysis to move forward the policy conversation across the full spectrum of global issues. And I am not just saying that because my former boss is the head of this institution!...

Today, as we reflect on U.S.-India ties – this “defining partnership for the century ahead” as President Obama called it – and how we have progressed so much over the past decade, it clearly starts with the civil-nuclear deal. From the beginning, the deal was about more than just megawatts and reactors. For over thirty years, the nuclear issue had been the “elephant in the room,” casting a shadow over the U.S.-India relationship. But in 2005, our two countries decided it was time to tackle the elephant and advance the relationship – and I must say we have succeeded beyond expectations.

Nothing speaks more to the essence of good diplomacy than taking an obstacle and turning it into a mutual advantage. With the civil nuclear deal, we did just that. It gave us each confidence in the other and brought our governments and businesses closer together…

Looking back over the last ten years, I’m reminded of the old African proverb, “If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together.” When President Bush made his Rose Garden announcement in 2005, a marathon effort was launched that would include seven leader-level summits in Washington and Delhi, as well as countless meetings, dialogues, and some very late nights.