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Top US lawmakers to visit India for N-talks

Republican House leader Dennis Hastert will head the 8-member group, which plans to meet Manmohan and Sonia.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 15:24 IST

Republican House leader Dennis Hastert and other US lawmakers have announced plans to visit India next week to discuss a controversial bilateral nuclear deal made in March.

Hastert will head the eight-member group, which plans to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi during the April 9-12 trip.

"The delegation will discuss the recent initiatives between the two countries, including the importance of civil nuclear cooperation initiatives in strengthening the international non-proliferation system," Hastert's office said in a statement on Friday.

The group will also visit Nepal and Vietnam, the statement said.

Republican Senator Charles Hagel also announced travel plans to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan from April 8-15.

"Our relationships in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are important to US strategic interests. Security, stability and economic development in South Asia are critical components for the future of this region. The US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement will be among the specific issues that I will discuss with Indian officials."

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned members of the Congress against modifying the agreement, lest the newly established partnership be jeopardised.