M A I N   N E W S

France to help in N-energy
New facilities to be under IAEA safeguards: PM
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
India today sent an unambiguous message to the international community when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proclaimed that all facilities procured by New Delhi in future through international cooperation on civilian nuclear energy will be subjected to IAEA safeguards.

The Prime Minister made this comment during his joint interaction with the media along with visiting French President Jacques Chirac who, on his part, declared that France understood and was supportive of the Indian concerns related to its security and long-term strategic programmes.

Dr Manmohan Singh said: “I confirm that all facilities procured by India through international cooperation on civilian nuclear energy will of course be subjected to international safeguards.”

The Tribune understands that the Prime Minister’s remarks specifically relate to futuristic projects and cannot be seen as a blanket statement on the existing facilities. The PM’s remarks assume importance in view of the July 18 Indo-US nuclear agreement, currently undergoing complex negotiations, and the upcoming visit to India of President George W. Bush.

France was supportive of India getting access to nuclear energy on the basis of two principles. Mr Chirac described the two principles as “moral” and “environmental”. Mr Chirac said India needed to be helped in access to clean fuel without a negative fallout of greenhouse emissions.

The comments came after the two sides signed nine agreements, including a Joint Declaration on Cooperation on Civil Nuclear Energy. The Joint Declaration on Cooperation on Civil Nuclear Energy, makes it clear that cooperation pursuant to the future agreement would be exclusively for peaceful purposes and covered, where applicable by appropriate safeguards agreements with the IAEA. Besides, it stipulates that subsequent specific agreements, will also address issues relating to confidentiality of information, third party nuclear liability, intellectual property, measures relating to physical protection and retransfers to third states.

The two sides agreed to take forward their Strategic Partnership by strengthening bilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields, including political, economic, defence, space, civil nuclear energy education and research. A joint statement said both sides agreed to intensify the exchange of high level bilateral visits and consultations.

Both sides reiterated the importance of the Strategic Partnership between India and the European Union and agreed to work together in further enhancing ties through the mechanism of the Joint India-EU Action Plan.

The two sides announced their decision to double their bilateral trade worth 3.6 billion Euros within five years and identified infrastructure, IT, pharmaceuticals, environment, advanced and new technologies, food processing, automobiles and aeronautics as priority sectors for forging business partnerships.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at India joining as a full partner in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) nuclear fusion project. The Indo-French Defence Cooperation agreement, signed by the Defence Ministers of the two countries in the presence of Mr Chirac and Dr Manmohan Singh is an important element of the Strategic Partnership between the two nations. It builds upon and expands cooperation in the defence and military fields, defence industry, production, procurement, research and development of defence material, joint exercises, professional exchanges and training.

The Indo-French cooperation in the Space sector has a long and successful history between two of the most advanced countries in this field. The recent successful launch of the INSAT 4A satellite by Ariane 5G from Kouru, French Guyana, is a testimony to the existing close cooperation. Work is also progressing well on the Megha Tropiques Joint Satellite Mission.

Mr Chirac reiterated his country’s firm support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, saying the two countries shared common views on major international issues.



India, France ink 9 agreements
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
India and France today signed nine bilateral documents in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting French President Jacques Chirac.

Of these three are agreements, three memorandum of understanding and three other documents. They are Agreement on Defence Cooperation signed by Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie, Statement of Intent on Cooperation between the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry and French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry of the French Republic on Cooperation between Enterprises, MoU on Tourism Cooperation between the two countries’ Ministry of Tourism, Declaration by India and France on the Development of nuclear energy for Peaceful Purposes, MoU between BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) and ADEME.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |