123 agreement on Indo-US 'N' deal likely to be signed on Sep 25

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Washington, Sep 11 (UNI) The 123 Agreement between India and the United States, also known as the US-India Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation, is likely to be signed on September 25 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US from September 22.

A statement issued by the White House said the President ''looks forward'' to welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the White House on September 25, to strengthen the Strategic Partnership and build upon the progress in other areas of cooperation like agriculture, education, trade and Defense.

The statement said the the President is pleased to approve the US-India Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation (also known as the 123 Agreement).

The conclusion of this agreement, which completes the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative, has been a priority for both--President Geogre Bush and Prime Minister Singh--and strengthens the US-India Strategic Partnership, the statement said.

Describing it as an ''historic achievement,'' the statement said it would bolster international non-proliferation efforts, provide economic and business opportunities in both countries and help India address its growing energy needs in an environmentally-responsible manner.

''The President looks forward to working with Congress to ensure passage on the agreement this year,'' the statement added.

The July 18, 2005, Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Initiative which was cleared by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna on September 6, has entered its last lap before it is ratified by the US Congress for its implementation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will go to the US later this month to attend the UN General Assembly session.

He is also scheduled to go to Washington.

UNI RB MIR AS2112

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