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India, France ink pact for 2 N-reactors
New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS):
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Published on 7 Dec. 2010 12:16 AM IST
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday vigorously pitched for India’s claim for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as the two sides launched a new phase in their civil nuclear cooperation by signing five atomic pacts for building two 1,650 MW nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
France also underlined solidarity with India against terrorism and asked Pakistan to act against “safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist groups”. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sarkozy held talks for nearly 90 minutes that focused on expanding civil nuclear cooperation and forging closer links in the field of defence, space, education and research.
Besides five atomic pacts, the two sides signed a pact for co-production of films and another agreement for space cooperation in the field of earth science and climate. France’s long-term plan to build six reactors in India for producing 10,000 mw electricity over the next few years formed the centrepiece of Sarkozy’s four-day presidential visit to India that started Saturday.
The two sides signed five nuclear-related pacts, including an early works agreement and a general framework agreement between French nuclear giant Areva and the Nuclear Power Corpn of India Limited (NPCIL) for implementation of two European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) at Jaitapur. Several other agreements to expand interaction in the nuclear sector to areas such as research and training of scientists and students, nuclear safety, nuclear waste management and regulatory practices have been concluded, he said.
Sarkozy said that France would eventually build six nuclear reactors in India and backed New Delhi’s full membership in elite multilateral nuclear clubs, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement
Barely a month after US President Barack Obama declared support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, Sarkozy reiterated France’s support, saying New Delh’s inclusion on the UN high table was important for global balance. “It is not just an important matter for India but for the equilibrium of the world,” Sarkozy said. He reiterated that it was unfair that a country of one billion should be kept out of the UNSC high table. “India’s claim should be rightly as permanent member,” said Sarkozy.
In yet another boost to India’s struggle against terrorism emanating from Pakistani territory, France supported India’s concerns “at the continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist groups beyond Afghanistan’s borders and resurgence of terrorist groups.

 
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