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India, Russia Say Iran Nuclear Dispute Needs Dialogue


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after signing agreements, joint press conference in New Delhi, India, Dec 21, 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after signing agreements, joint press conference in New Delhi, India, Dec 21, 2010

Indian and Russian leaders say the dispute over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through dialogue.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy.

The two leaders also announced India and Russia have signed deals to cooperate on nuclear energy, trade and pharmaceuticals, as Medvedev visited New Delhi to open a two-day trip.

The agreements include the joint development of fifth-generation fighter aircraft. India wants to purchase 300 of the planes for its air force in a deal that could reach $30 billion over the next 10 years.

Singh called Russia a "time-tested friend of India," and Medvedev reiterated support for India to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The countries plan to boost trade from nearly $10 billion annually to $20 billion by 2015.

They also will pursue a deal for Russia to build two additional generating units at a nuclear power plant in southern India. Russia already has signed on to construct additional reactors for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

Medvedev plans to visit Mumbai on Wednesday.




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