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Indian Prime Minister Defends Nuclear Deal With US

India's prime minister says the recent nuclear agreement with the United States will be helpful when his government attempts to boost civilian nuclear cooperation with other nations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, speaking to parliament Saturday, assured lawmakers that the nuclear accord will not result in a capping of the nation's nuclear program. Mr. Singh said the deal is key to opening doors to nuclear development deals with nations such as Russia and France.

President Bush and Prime Minister Singh clinched the deal during Mr. Bush's trip to New Delhi last week.

The White House is proposing a change to U.S. law that would allow the sale of nuclear technology to India. The legislation would exempt India from the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, which prohibits nuclear sales to nations that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Some members of Congress have said they fear the legislation could encourage Iran and North Korea to continue their alleged nuclear weapons programs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.