M A I N   N E W S

Canada okays export of uranium to India Promises to act against ‘Khalistan’ activists
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
Giving an unprecedented boost to their ties, India and Canada today announced the conclusion of thorny negotiations over administrative arrangements for operationalising the civil nuclear deal, which would facilitate Canadian companies to soon start exporting uranium and nuclear reactors to this country.

The announcement ends close to four decades of tense relations between the two countries after Canada banned export of uranium to India in the wake of nuclear tests conducted by it in 1974.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also reassured New Delhi of his country's determination to check the activities of 'Khalistan' supporters on the Canadian soil.

The two countries signed a social security accord and MoUs on cooperation in information communication technology and electronics and between DRDO and York University of Canada for cooperation in the areas of joint research and development in defence science and technology after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.

''We welcome the recent progress made towards concluding the modalities for the effective operationalisation of the agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation that we had signed in 2010,'' Singh said at a brief media interaction jointly with Harper. On his part, the Canadian PM said: "Our government is committed to promoting greater trade and investment with India. The conclusion of the administrative arrangement with India will facilitate opportunities for Canadian companies to play a greater role in meeting India's growing energy needs. It is expected to generate millions of dollars in new business contacts between our countries and to create high-quality new jobs at home.''

The two sides had for long been holding negotiations to iron out differences on the nuclear accord. Ottawa was insisting that India must inform it how New Delhi was utilising the uranium exported by Canada companies. New Delhi, however, was of the view that such measures were not necessary since it was already complying with the standards set by the IAEA.

A joint statement issued at the end of the talks between the two leaders said they looked forward to the agreement on nuclear cooperation entering into effect shortly.

The two countries also agreed to institute a strategic dialogue at the level of foreign ministers. They identified energy cooperation, particularly exports of Canadian oil and natural gas as well as renewable energy cooperation as an area with enormous potential. A ministerial level energy dialogue would supplement the strategic dialogue and promote specific projects.

They reaffirmed their desire to conclude a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) by the end of 2013 and a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement.

The activities of 'Khalistan' supporters in Canada came up for discussions during the meeting Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur had with the Canadian PM. The revival of 'anti-India' rhetoric in Canada was a matter of concern to India, she told Harper, pointing out that Punjab was witnessing a good situation of peace and progress after very hard times and i would like this situation to prevail.

The Canadian PM said his country was firmly behind New Delhi on the subject of 'Khalistan'.





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