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Deal with India in favour of US:Bush

Written by: Staff

Washington, Mar 5 (UNI) In a bid to garner domestic support for the landmark civilian nuclear deal, signed with India recently, US President George Bush hailed Indian democracy and said the pact would be in favour of the US security as well as economy.

''It is good for American security because it will bring India's civilian nuclear programme into the international non-proliferation mainstream,'' the President said in his radio address last night while describing at length his tour of South Asia, which took him to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

''The agreement also is good for the American economy. The agreement will help meet India's surging energy needs, and that will lessen India's growing demand for other energy supplies and help restrain energy prices for American consumers,'' he added.

He compared the two biggest democracies in the world and said that like the US, India too has endured terrorism and holds dear the principles of freedom and justice.

The President, while pointing out the growing trade volume between the two countries, said the partnership with India will help the American multinationals to expand their base as ''India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world''.

''Ultimately, the best way to create jobs for Americans is to expand markets for American products...India has now a growing middle class that is estimated at 300 million people -- more than the entire population of the United States.

''Middle class Indians are buying home appliances from American companies like Whirlpool, enjoying McCurry meals from McDonald's. And Air India has recently ordered 68 planes from Boeing,'' he said.

President Bush, who returned here last night, also talked about his discussions with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on a range of topics, including the war on terrorism and democratic reforms in Pakistan.

Though Pakistan had asked for a similar strategic deal, President Bush turned down the request saying India and Pakistan were two different countries with different needs and that the time was not right for such a deal with Pakistan.

''Our relations with Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan will enhance the security of our country. By working with these leaders and the people of these three nations, we're seizing the opportunities this new century offers and helping to lay the foundations of peace and prosperity for generations to come,'' the President said.


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