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Indian PM affirms need to secure energy supply during meeting with Clinton

(Xinhua)

13:25, May 08, 2012

NEW DELHI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday evening that while India was engaged in fighting nuclear proliferation, it wants to secure its energy supply, apparently meaning its oil imports from Iran, local media reported Tuesday.

India's stand on non-proliferation and approach to importing oil was the focus of an 80-minute "unstructured meeting" between Clinton and Singh, said local daily The Hindu.

In an address in Kolkata, Clinton urged India to cut oil imports from Iran. "The reason why India, China and Japan and European countries are being asked to lower their supplies is to keep the pressure on Iran,"she said.

But during her interaction with Singh, Clinton dwelt on the " broader regional and global implications" if the U.S. pressure through sanctions on Iran did not force it to completely open up its nuclear program for inspections, said the newspaper.

The meeting did not see Clinton seeking a further reduction in Indian purchase of Iranian oil and this task is likely to be entrusted to U.S. Special Envoy for global energy issues Carlos Pasqat, who will visit Delhi later this month, said the newspaper.

Iran is India's second largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. An Iranian government delegation was also in Delhi Monday to discuss trade with Indian officials.

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