France dance the nuclear waltz
Delhi, Jan 25: In a major step towards strengthening bilateral
ties, India and France on Friday signed atomic energy co-operation
pact. Speaking at a joint press conference after meeting French
President Nicholas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
said, "We have signed a bilateral atomic energy co-operation
India`s record on non-proliferation, Sarkozy strongly favoured
changes in global rules to allow New Delhi to have civil nuclear
cooperation with the international community.
and India have decided to give a new impetus to their strategic
cooperation for development of nuclear energy for peaceful
purposes as an expression of their strategic partnership,"
said a joint statement issued after the talks.
President Nicholas Sarkozy said at a joint press conference
with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that, "France wishes
to build up international consensus to allow India to use
has never proliferated and it has made it clear that it wants
to separate civil nuclear programme from the military one,"
favours waiver to India to allow it to have access to civil
nuclear energy," he said.
has declared a moratorium on nuclear testing," he added.
of the pact, however, will have to await firming up of a India-IAEA
wide-ranging talks between PM Manmohan Singh and Nicolas Sarkozy
here, the two sides also decided to push their defence ties
"beyond buyer-seller relationship" and set a bilateral
trade target of 12 billion euros to be achieved by 2012.
the ongoing controversy over L N Mittal's steel plant in France,
Sarkozy assured that, "Mittal is a friend and we called
him to discuss how to save his steel plant without cutting
down on jobs."
further added that "Indian investors are more than welcome
satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the PM also said,
"France has agreed to support India for a permanent seat
at the United Nation's Security Council (UNSC).
Prime Minister also notified that France and India have agreed
for co-operation in military research & development and
the relationship will go beyond from being just "buyer
and France have also signed bilateral agreement for co-operation
in trade, space and education. It has also been decided that
an Indian cultural centre will be opened in Paris.
Manmohan Singh said that France will support India's quest
for removal of international bans over its nuclear capabilities,
which are still in place.