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India-Canada sign civil nuke pact
Toronto, Jun 28 (IANS/Agencies):
Published on 28 Jun. 2010 11:08 PM IST
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Breaking new grounds in their bilateral relationship, India and Canada on Sunday signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement and strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first Indian Head of the Government to visit Canada after IK Gujral’s trip here 16 years ago, and his counterpart Stephen Harper hailed the signature of the nuclear agreement after their one-on-one and delegation level talks that will provide for cooperation in civil nuclear energy including import of uranium and equipment from Canada.
The civil nuclear agreement was signed by Srikumar Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon in the presence of the two prime ministers.
The deal also envisages cooperation in fields of nuclear waste management and radiation safety.
The agreement assumes significance in the context of Canada’s strong attitude in the past when it slaped sanctions against India after the Pokhran I and II tests in 1974 and 1998.
A joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said the two prime ministers committed themselves to the ratification of the agreement and completion of all remaining steps necessary to ensure its early implementation.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday assured that the nuclear technology and material supplied to India under civil atomic energy pacts will only be used for peaceful purposes and there was “absolutely no scope” of it being used for unintended purposes.
“There is absolutely no scope whatsoever of the nuclear materials or nuclear equipment in India being used for unintended purposes,” Singh said at a joint press conference with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.
“We did engage in extensive negotiations to deal with those issues and the Indian side was very forthcoming with the safeguards we require to have absolute confidence in those kinds of matters,” Harper said on his part.
The press conference was held immediately after the two countries inked a civilian nuclear energy pact, on the lines India has with eight other nations, including the US, France and Russia.
Alluding to the sanctions imposed by Ottawa after the nuclear tests conducted by New Delhi in 1974, the Canadian Prime Minister said in the contemporary world his country could not act as though it was living in an era that existed 30 years ago.
“We are living in very different realities today. India is a country - a very important country - a country that will be even more important in the future that shares with us key values.”
He said New Delhi and Ottawa today shared common interests and also faced common threats. Canada, he added, was keen that India, which urgently needs energy, develops its nuclear industry and wanted to be a part of the initiative.
The two countries also signed the following bilateral pacts:
- On higher education to encourage the development of synergies between Canadian and Indian post-secondary institutions.
- On earth sciences and mining to foster improved dialogue on mining and related activities, including bilateral investment.
- On cultural cooperation to facilitate bilateral initiatives and help showcase Canadian cultural content in India, and Indian cultural content in Canada.
The two leaders also welcomed the conclusion of the report of the joint study group on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement and hoped to finalise the pact by late October.

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