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US, India Announce Agreement on Nuclear Power


India and the United States have reached final agreement on a nuclear cooperation deal that has been under negotiation for months.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush made the announcement at a joint news conference after their talks Thursday, in New Delhi.

Mr. Bush said it was not easy for either side to achieve what he called an historic agreement, but vowed to work hard to convince the U.S. Congress of its benefits for both India and the United States. Mr. Bush says the nuclear cooperation agreement will assist India's civilian nuclear power industry and help take the pressure off the global demand for energy.

The president said he encouraged India and Pakistan to resolve their long-running dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. The two leaders also discussed trade and agricultural issues.

President Bush also met with India's nine religious leaders representing the country's full spectrum of faiths. They discussed India's contribution to the world as an example of unity and peace in diversity.

Later in the day, in a toast at a luncheon with the prime minister, Mr. Bush praised India's democracy for setting an example of pluralism, religious freedom and human rights.

Thousands of demonstrators denouncing Mr. Bush's visit gathered in the Indian capital Thursday, and lawmakers from left-wing parties staged a protest outside the national Parliament building.

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