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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 14:04 GMT
Bush welcomes tech partner India
President George W Bush in Mexico
Bush pledged nuclear co-operation with India
President George W Bush has announced that the US and India will increase co-operation on civilian nuclear and space programmes, and in hi-tech trade.

Speaking at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, the US president said he had also agreed to expand a dialogue with India on missile defence.

He said the agreements with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would strengthen ties between them.

India has an advanced hi-tech industry and is a regional internet leader.

A statement released by both leaders said the accord was "an important milestone in transforming relations between India and the United States".

Asian bond

"Co-operation in these areas will deepen the ties of commerce and friendship between our two nations, and will increase stability in Asia and beyond," it said.

Mr Bush told delegates at the summit the two nations would take "a series of reciprocal steps", including expanded engagement on nuclear regulatory and safety issues, missile defence, and will seek ways to enhance co-operation in peaceful uses of space technology.

"We are working together to promote global peace and prosperity," the joint statement said.

Mr Bush said India and the US had become "partners in the war on terrorism" and in controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.

The moves between the countries are in contrast to India's public criticism of the American-led invasion of Iraq last year.

Delhi previously demanded that any rebuilding of the country should be carried out under the direction of the UN and refused to send troops to support the coalition.

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