France wants India on UNSC, G-8

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New Delhi, Dec 21: France today said it wanted India in the UN Security Council and the G-8 grouping to challenge the old process where the US was the main player.

''We want to see India on the UN Security Council'' to challenge the old process of the US dominating it, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a press conference. ''We also want India in the G-8,'' he added. Mr Kouchner, who met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, said France, whose 90 per cent of electricity came from nuclear energy, was in favour of offering civil nuclear power to India.

But he added that India had to first get clearance from the nuclear watchdog IAEA. The French Minister, who will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, said Dr Singh was a very impressive, skillful and interesting person.

Refusing to compare the France-China relations with France-India relations, he said China was the second richest country after the US, while India was the biggest democracy.

''As a democracy, we have lots of commonality with India, and in a way naturally closer to it,'' he added. ''As a biggest democracy, India is important for all of us.'' Mr Kouchner said he wanted India to be part of the European process to put pressure on Myanmar to become a democratic country.

He said French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to India next month would be important in many respects as many agreements would be signed.

On the educational front, the French Minister said his country wanted to increase by three times the number of Indian students coming to France, and offer prospects of having a job there.

UNI

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