India to build its partnership with France in nuclear energy: PM

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New Delhi, July 13 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday said India would like to build its partnership with France in nuclear energy, defence and other areas.

Before leaving for France and Egypt on a four-day visit, Dr. Singh said: "India and France enjoy a close and wide ranging strategic partnership. Our relations with France encompass a large number of areas, and have served our national interests well."

"We would like to build upon our partnership in the areas of trade and investment, high technology, space, nuclear energy, defence, education, culture, tourism and scientific research and development," Dr. Singh added.

Dr. Singh left for Paris this afternoon to participate in the National Day celebrations of the Republic of France on July 14.

"At the invitation of President Nicolas Sarkozy, I am leaving today for Paris to participate in the National Day celebrations. The invitation extended to me to participate as the Chief Guest at the National Day celebrations of France is an honour for the people of India," he said.

During the four-day visit, Dr. Singh will travel from Paris to Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt on Tuesday for the 15th Non-aligned Summit which will be held under the chairmanship of President Hosni Mubarak.

Dr. Singh said that the diversity and universality of the Non-Aligned Movement offers NAM a unique opportunity to address the challenges of today.

"India will play its part in helping Non-Aligned Movement to regain its moral high ground to address issues which are of direct concern and relevance to developing countries such as sustainable development, climate change, food security, energy security, terrorism and reform of the architecture of international governance," he said.

"Non-alignment has been the bedrock of India's foreign policy since it was enunciated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Non-alignment remains an article of faith for us. In the post-Cold War era, when the world is no longer divided into two military blocs, the Non-aligned Movement has a renewed role to play in the emerging world order," he added. By Smita Prakash(ANI)

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