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Bush invites PM to White House on Sept 25

September 11, 2008 18:56 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] has been invited by US President George W Bush [Images] on September 25 to the White House where the two may sign the 123 Agreement if it is approved by the American Congress by then.

Coverage: Indo-US Nuclear Deal

Bush 'looks forward' to welcoming Dr Singh on September 25 to 'strengthen the strategic partnership' and to build on the progress in other areas of cooperation like agriculture, education, trade and defence, the White House said on Thursday.

"The President is pleased to approve the Indo-US Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation (also known as the 123 Agreement). The conclusion of this agreement, which completes the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative, has been a priority for both President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and strengthens the Indo-US Strategic Partnership," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino [Images] said in a statement.

Perino said 'this historic achievement will bolster international non-proliferation efforts, provide economic and business opportunities in both countries, and help India address its growing energy needs in an environmentally responsible manner.'

The President 'looks forward to working with Congress to ensure passage on the agreement this year', she said.

Dr Singh, who will be in the US from September 23 to 27, is expected to discuss with Bush the next steps to further enhance the bilateral relations

The 123 Agreement could be signed during the meeting if the US Congress approves it by then.

The agreement, which will operationalise the nuclear deal, was presented to the US Congress today by the Bush Administration with the hope that it will be passed at an early date.

Bush has been pushing the nuclear deal with India and was personally involved in nudging various sceptic member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to support waiver for New Delhi [Images], which was granted on September 6.

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