India, France to sign nuke framework agreement during PM's visit

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On Board PM's Special Aircraft, Sep 28 (UNI) India and France are set to sign a nuclear framework agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Paris and his bilateral meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Speaking to reporters on board the Prime Minister's Special Aircraft enroute to Marseille for the Indo-EU summit from New York, Dr Singh said today the civil nuclear framework agreement will come up for review and possible signature during the visit.

'' I am looking forward to my meeting with President Sarkozy and at the European Union when there is a bilateral summit. We have already initialled the civilian nuclear framework agreement which will certainly come up for review and possible signature during the visit,'' he said.

Dr Singh said he was in the US from the 23rd of this month and during the course of his stay '' had very useful meetings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and interaction with the Prime Ministers of Norway and the Netherlands.

President Bush and I expressed satisfaction at the way progress had been made on the Indo-US nuclear deal.'' Referring to the passage of the agreement by the US House of Representatives, Dr Singh said one hurdle had been crossed. The Bill will now go the US Senate. '' I am happy that one hurdle has been crossed. But that is not the end of the process. Let us wait for the final outcome.'' UNI RB RP AS1511

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