EU still undecided on NSG stand, focus on France summit

May 30th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The 27-nation European Union Friday conveyed its appreciation of India’s growing energy needs, but made it clear that it would be up to individual EU countries to decide their stand on the India-US civil nuclear deal in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The two sides also gave a political push to their burgeoning ties, including a proposed trade treaty, and discussed the agenda for the next India-EU summit which will be held in Marseilles, France, Sep 29.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee led the Indian side in discussions with the EU troika of ministers and discussed with them a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including climate change, a proposed comprehensive economic and investment pact and related civil aviation and maritime agreements.

The EU was represented by Dimitrij Rupel, minister for foreign affairs of Slovenia, who attended the meeting in his capacity as president of the European Council, Rama Yade, ministry of foreign affairs of France, representing the incoming French presidency of the EU, and A. Machado of the European Commission.

Besides reviewing an entire gamut of India-EU ties, the two sides focused on “concrete deliverables” for the forthcoming India-EU summit.

The French minister handed over a message from President Nicolas Sarkozy to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which he has expressed his “pleasure at being able to welcome the Indian prime minister” to Marseilles and Paris, the French embassy here said.

India again sought the support of the European Union for global civil nuclear cooperation, reliable sources said.

The EU, however, conveyed that it was for each EU country to decide on the India-US nuclear deal in the 45-nation NSG.

Britain and France have backed the nuclear deal and promised support to India in the NSG. France has also initialled a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India, but it will become operational only after the NSG amends its guidelines in favour of global nuclear commerce with New Delhi.

Yade underlined the priorities of the incoming French presidency of the EU and stressed on the importance of humanitarian effort in aid of the people affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

She also called for the intensification of cooperation between India and the European Union for an effective fight against global warming.

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