US and India agree on landmark nuclear deal

March 3, 2006 03:58

US President George W. Bush began ushering India into the world's exclusive nuclear club on Thursday with a landmark accord to share nuclear reactors, fuel and expertise in return for New Delhi's acceptance of international safeguards. The deal between Washington and New Delhi, reached Thursday during a three-day visit to India by Bush, must be approved by the US Congress. It represents a reversal of policy for the United States, which placed sanctions on New Delhi after India joined rival Pakistan in testing nuclear weapons in 1998. The accord would end India's long isolation as a nuclear maverick that defied world appeals to develop nuclear weapons. India has agreed to separate its tightly entwined nuclear industry _ declaring 14 reactors as commercial facilities and eight as military - and to open the civilian side to international inspections for the first time.

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