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Thousands Protest as Bush Arrives in India

Tens of thousands of Muslim and communist protesters have rallied in two major Indian cities as President Bush began his three-day visit to New Delhi.

In both the Indian capital and Calcutta, also known as Kolkata, protesters marched against the war in Iraq and President Bush's foreign policies. More demonstrations are expected during his visit.

Earlier, Mr. Bush said the United States and India have a strategic partnership with broad interests, including economic and defense cooperation and the desire of both nations to help democracies such as Afghanistan. Mr. Bush made a surprise stop in Kabul on the way to New Delhi.

The president's first trip to South Asia comes as U.S. and Indian negotiators discuss a nuclear cooperation pact, which could open India's civilian reactors to U.N. inspectors.

Mr. Bush said talks on the deal will continue if the two sides cannot agree on how to separate India's civilian nuclear facilities from its military ones.

Mr. Bush will meet with India's president, Abdul Kalam and prime minister Manmohan Singh and deliver an address on Indian television before heading to Pakistan.