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France, Libya to pen deal on civilian nuclear work

Written by: Staff
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PARIS, Mar 15 (Reuters) France and Libya expect to sign a cooperation agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the French Foreign Ministry said today.

A team from the French atomic energy commission is in Libya and was due to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Libyan National Bureau for Research and Development, the ministry said.

''The cooperation with Libya that is envisaged covers a more advanced use of the Libyan research reactor in order to produce radioactive sources for medical and industrial uses,'' French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told an electronic news briefing.

The agreement would also include the training of Libyan technicians, he said. He did not say when the agreement would be signed.

In 2003, Libya promised to dismantle its nuclear, chemical and biological programmes. It also signed additional protocols with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi said at the time he still hoped to develop a nuclear programme for peaceful means.

Libya cast off more than a decade of international ostracism in 2003 when it accepted responsibility and began paying compensation for the bombing of airliners over Scotland and Niger in 1988 and 1989.

REUTERS SHR RN2040

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