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1/24/04 - U.S. COOPERATION WITH INDIA - 2004-01-23

The U.S. and India are taking steps to strengthen their strategic partnership. These steps include increased cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, civilian space programs, and high technology trade.

The spread of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, is a major concern. The U.S. is working with India to ensure that rogue states and terrorist groups are denied access to these horrific weapons or the means of producing them. "We are partners in the war on terrorism," said President George W. Bush, "and we are partners in controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them."

For that reason, the U.S. is expanding its dialogue with India on missile defense. The U.S. and its friends and allies need such a defense to protect against the threat posed by rogue states armed with missiles that could carry weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. will also authorize the sale of high technology to India provided that India takes steps to guard against unauthorized use of that technology or its re-export to regimes banned from receiving it.

India's partnership with the U.S., says President Bush, is based "on common values and common interests," including a commitment to freedom:

". . .the prosperity, and social vitality, and technological progress of a people are directly determined by [the] extent of their liberty. Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity -- and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations."

The expanded cooperation, said President Bush, "is an important milestone in transforming the relationship between the United States and India."