Rajnath discusses nuclear deal with French Ambassador

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New Delhi, Jul 19 (UNI) French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont today called on BJP President Rajnath Singh at his residence to discuss the Indo-US nuclear deal and express the views of the member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the India specific nuclear safeguards agreement.

Articulating the BJP's stand on the nuclear deal during the hour-long meeting, Mr Singh told the Ambassador that his party was opposed to the proposed pact in its present form as it failed to address India's strategic concerns.

The BJP strongly favoured having a strategic relationship with the US and other democracies, he added.

Highlighting the historical and cultural affinities between India and France, Mr Singh said his party considered France a ''most India-friendly nation'', the only western power which did not impose economic sanctions on India when the NDA government conducted Pokhran II in 1998.

BJP's Foreign Affairs Cell Convenor S K Arora and his Political Advisor Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi were present.

Mr Singh also expressed his party's happiness over French President Nicholas Sarkozy proposing the inclusion of India and enlargement of the G-8 to G-13. The party would also favour India seeking France's active support for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, he said.

The French Ambassador said his country would support India's efforts. He also informed that several French companies were planning to invest in India around 10 billion Euros during the next five years. The two also briefly discussed the political scenario in India.

UNI MCN RR RAI1945

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