Indian, French Foreign Ministers hold talks

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New Delhi, Dec 20 (UNI) India and France held wide-ranging discussions here this evening on ways to enhance bilateral cooperation, including in civilian nuclear area.

Visiting French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met at the majestic Hyderabad House here for the discussions on subjects raging from Defence to civilian nuclear cooperation and from trade to economy.

Sources said the External Affairs Minister briefed the French Foreign Minister on the ongoing negotiations between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement and progress on the India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The scheduled visit of French President Nicholas Sarkozy to India in January also figured during the talks, the sources added.

The French Foreign Minister who arrived here this morning, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

The visit will intensify dialogue between India and France on crucial issues including global warming, civilian nuclear cooperation, trade and investment and security issues, officials said.

The two-day tour of the French Foreign Minister is primarily aimed at preparing ground for President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to India.

UNI

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