India-Sweden sign defence and environment protection pacts

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (ANI): India and Sweden have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for enhancing cooperation in the fields of defence and environmental protection.

The two MoUs were signed after talks between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt at Hyderabad House here last evening.

A host of other regional and international issues also came up for discussion during the meeting.

Reinfeldt, who is in New Delhi to attend the Tenth India-EU Summit, that begins today, has said developed countries have a vital role to play in curtailing the effects of global warming.

Interacting with TERI University students here on Thursday, Reinfeldt said it would be incorrect to say that only rich nations have to sort out the problem of climate change.

Reinfeldt also strongly pitched for an agreement on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol at the Copenhagen talks in December and said the absence of a clear deal would mean lack of infrastructure to tackle climate change.

The two sides launched negotiations in 2007 for a free trade agreement (FTA), but progress has been hampered because of differences over intellectual property rights and EU efforts to link trade with climate and India's social sector performance.

An FTA between the EU and India could improve market access for goods and services, covering all trade except for public procurement, which India is reluctant to include in the pact. India is also concerned, among other things, about costly certificates for exporting fruit to the EU and conformity procedures for the EC mark.

India, which insists developed countries take deeper carbon emission cuts and fund developing nation's climate actions, has opposed efforts, including by the EU, to remove the distinction between rich and poorer countries. (ANI)

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