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US Energy Secretary Cancels India Trip

Published: 09th January 2014 09:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2014 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

American Energy Secretary has cancelled his crucial trip to India slated this month, in view of the strained relations between the two countries over the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on alleged visa fraud charges in New York last month.

The India-US Energy Dialogue to be led by Ernest Moniz was expected to witness the two countries make significant progress in energy co-operation and export of American shale gas to India.

It would be rescheduled for a mutually convenient date later, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

"We place great emphasis, as you know, on the US-India energy partnership. It was an issue when the Secretary (of State, John Kerry) was there, and he even gave a speech talking about these issues - a key element of our strategic partnership," Psaki said.

"In view of these important matters and in order to find the time to allow both sides to deliver on the important issues that we need to from both sides, we're looking for a mutually convenient time in the near future that will permit both sides to do that," she said.

"We remain committed to holding this dialogue and we'll look for a time to hold it," she said, adding that the energy dialogue would be re-scheduled soon.

The Energy Secretary's visit for the India-US Energy Dialogue was considered an important one for both the countries after Obama- Sing White House Summit in September last year.

Both the leaders had identified co-operation in the energy sector as an important pillar of India-US Strategic Partnership.

In fact, clean energy was the focus of Secretary of State John Kerry's India visit last summer.

During their meeting at the White House on September 27, President Obama and PM Singh had discussed ways to strengthen bilateral efforts to promote energy efficiency, clean energy, and address climate change.

The US-India Energy Dialogue was launched on May 31, 2005 to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector.

Five working groups had been set up under the initiative in areas of oil & gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies & renewable energy and civil nuclear co-operation.

Another working group on 'sustainable development' was added recently.

The last India-US Energy Dialogue took place in September 2012.

Preparations were on to make significant progress on US giving approval for LNG export to India during this visit, sources said.

India has been pushing the US to expedite this process to meet its galloping energy needs.

The now postponed India US Energy Dialogue was also expected to implement the decisions taken by Obama and Singh with regard to clean energy.

They had agreed to availability of clean energy resources to more people, by endorsing the proposal to launch Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), a PACE initiative, to rapidly deploy innovative renewable energy solutions to those who currently lack access to energy.



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