Sarkozy backs India's nuke deal with NSG

Jan. 28, 2008 at 11:51 AM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- French President Nicholas Sarkozy said he backed India's case for acquiring civil nuclear energy with other European countries and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

"France will be India's advocate with the international community for India acquiring civilian nuclear energy. India is considered a responsible nuclear power, which is sticking to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) guidelines. So France will be the advocate," Sarkozy said.

The comments were reported by Arab News.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that the two sides had signed an atomic energy cooperation pact.

"We have signed a bilateral atomic energy cooperation pact," Singh said. "France has agreed to support India for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council."

France will support India's quest for removal of international bans over its nuclear capabilities, some of which are still in place.

"France wishes to build up international consensus to allow India to use nuclear energy," Sarkozy said. "India has never proliferated and it has made it clear that it wants to separate civil nuclear program from the military one," he said. "France favors waiver to India to allow it to have access to civil nuclear energy. India has declared a moratorium on nuclear testing."

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