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U.S., India to widen ties

Setting a new path for cooperation with India, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday the two nations agreed on ways to expand U.S. defense and civilian nuclear sales, while acknowledging "different perspectives" on other issues such as climate change.

Clinton and Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, in a joint appearance following a day of high-level talks, pledged that future U.S.-Indian discussions would encompass a much wider scope of issues to include energy security, education, agriculture reform and counterterrorism. Clinton said it would be a "forum for action," not just talk among government leaders and bureaucrats.

"We will work not just to maintain our good relationship, but to broaden and deepen it," she told an evening news conference. "And to that end our governments have agreed to a strategic dialogue," Clinton said. She said that would include not just government officials but also business leaders, scientists, social activists, academics, leaders of charitable foundations, educators and entrepreneurs.

Krishna said the two reaffirmed a commitment to "resist the threat from the scourge of terrorism."

The expressions of goodwill on both sides stand in contrast to sharp differences on carbon emissions and whether India should be part of an international agreement setting legally binding limits on its emissions. An Indian official told Clinton in blunt terms Sunday that India won't accept such limits -- a stance that jeopardizes Obama administration efforts to get a meaningful climate change accord.

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