India, France sign Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

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Paris, Sep 30 (UNI) India and France today signed a landmark Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, giving a new impetus to cooperation in development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as an expression of their strategic partnership.

France is the first country with which India has signed the agreement after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver for global nuclear commerce. The issue is awaiting Senate approval in the US.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the signing of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with France ''added a new dimension to the Indo-French Strategic Partnership.'' The agreement will form the basis of wide-ranging bilateral cooperation from basic and applied research to full civil nuclear cooperation including reactors, nuclear fuel supply, nuclear safety, radiation and environment protection and nuclear fuel cycle management.

It was signed by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner at the Summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicholas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.

The two sides also signed a Social Security Agreement and a pact for cooperation in space technology.

The Space Cooperation Agreement was signed this morning.

The civil nuclear cooperation agreement recognises that as a reliable source of sustainable and non-polluting energy, it could make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenge of achieving energy security, sustainable development, economic growth and limiting climate change.

As responsible states with advanced nuclear technologies, including in the nuclear fuel cycle, the two countries are interested to promote nuclear energy with the highest standards of safety and security and in accordance with their respective nuclear policies and international obligations.

''India and France share common concerns and objectives in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery including in view of possible linkages to terrorism,'' officials said.

Building on their ongoing decades-old cooperation in the fields of fundamental and applied research, and nuclear safety, it was agreed to broaden and boost this partnership.

''Towards this end, a 'Co-operation Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the French Republic on the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy' was signed on 30th September 2008,'' the officials added.

The Social Security Agreement XXX Editors Pick up opening para of DF 14, External-Lead India-France two Paris.

UNI RB GT CS1802

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