M A I N   N E W S

PM talks N-cooperation with Hollande, Putin

On Board PM's Special Aircraft, June 20
The new French President Francois Hollande has pledged to continue France's strategic partnership with India with same vigour as his predecessors Jacques Chirac and Nikolas Sarkozy who belonged to rival parties.

Hollande expressed this sentiment during his first meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the G20 summit at Los Cabos in Mexico after recently winning the presidential elections defeating Sarkozy. Singh also congratulated Hollande on winning the elections.

Official sources said today the two leaders discussed Indo-French nuclear ties and referred to the progress in the cooperation in building the world's largest nuclear plant at Jaitapur (6 x 1650 mw) in Maharashtra.

Nuclear issues also figured in Prime Minister Singh's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two bilateral meetings took place yesterday. The two leaders discussed the Indo-Russian nuclear power project at Kudankulam.

Putin was told by Manmohan that the first two units (1000 mw each) of the project are on track and that the discussions are underway for the third and fourth units for which the Russian side has to come back with further details.

Putin and Manmohan shared the view that the two countries needed to work together more intensely to augment their traditional defence cooperation.

It was felt that India and Russia will have to work out a long-term arrangement in areas like defence cooperation to avoid situations of repeated signing of MoUs. This will ensure there are no delays in projects like in key areas of defence. PTI



Rio summit opens as world talks sustainable development

Rio de Janeiro, June 20
World leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gathered today to make a fresh bid to chart out a common environmental blueprint amid economic woes and discord, as a crucial summit on sustainable development opened here.

The Rio+20 summit was formally thrown open by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, bringing together representatives of 191 UN members, though US President Barack Obama and leaders of Germany and Britain-Angela Merkel and David Cameron are giving it a miss.

The two-day summit, officially called the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, comes 20 years after the first Earth Summit was held in this Brazilian city.

As calls go out to world leaders to commit to reaching an accord that addresses the most pressing environment and social woes, Singh will pitch for the principle of common but differentiated responsibility during the meeting.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading the US delegation. India will be negotiating to make sure that the Rio principles are reaffirmed and all sustainable development will be viewed with the approach of equity and common but differentiated responsibility so that developing countries can have their share of development.

India is also expected to voice its opposition to the Green Economy norms as propagated by the European Union. PTI




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