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U.S., India Announce Landmark Nuclear Accord

Bush talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on March 1 (epa) March 2, 2006 -- India and the United States announced today a landmark agreement that foresees cooperation in civilian nuclear technology.

Speaking at a news conference in New Delhi, Bush called the accord historic.

Under the agreement, the United States would supply technology and material for India's civilian nuclear technology.

The accord stipulates that India separate its civilian and military nuclear programs and place its nuclear-energy projects under international safeguards.

The agreement is controversial because India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. India has an arsenal of nuclear weapons, as does rival Pakistan.

Bush said his visit to India recognizes the growing strategic and economic significance of the world's most-populous democracy.

"India and America have built a strategic partnership based upon common values," Bush said. "Our two democracies respect religious pluralism and the rule of law. We seek to foster economic development through trade and advancing the entrepreneurial spirit in both countries."

Bush is due to fly to Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism, on March 4.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Tasneem Aslam said today that Islamabad is interested in discussing a similar nuclear accord with Washington.

(CNN, AP, Reuters)