Two top U.S. diplomats are to brief the international Nuclear Suppliers Group about President Bush's plan to provide key nuclear technology to India.
Assistant Secretaries of State Richard Boucher and Stephen Rademaker are slated to arrive in Vienna on Thursday to promote Mr. Bush's controversial nuclear deal to the 45-member group.
The agreement sealed earlier this month during Mr. Bush's visit to New Delhi would give energy-starved India access to long-denied nuclear technology in return for placing 14 of its 22 nuclear facilities under international inspection.
In Washington, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the nuclear deal signaled the emergence of a new global partnership between India and the United States.
Burns urged the U.S. Congress to approve the agreement, which would exempt India from U.S. laws that restrict sharing of nuclear technology with countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concern the legislation could encourage Iran and North Korea to continue their alleged nuclear weapons programs.
Critics also say the deal could accelerate a nuclear arms race in South Asia, possibly between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. On Tuesday, Pakistan announced it had successfully test-fired a cruise missile capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.