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India Appeals for End to US Nuclear Curbs

India's defense minister is urging for a quick end to curbs on nuclear technology transfers to India, saying they limit India's ability to become a stabilizing force in Asia.

On his first visit to Washington since taking up his post, Pranab Mukherjee said such limitations "prevent India from contributing to international peace, stability and development."

In a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he said India and the United States have similar concerns over "fundamentalist activism and terrorism" and also weapons proliferation.

The Indian defense minister met Monday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and is due to visit Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday at the Pentagon.

He is preparing the way for a White House visit next month by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.