France in Republic Day greetings backs India against terror

January 27th, 2009 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Reaffirming support for India in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sent Republic Day greetings to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and expressed his desire to take bilateral ties to a new level. Sarkozy also invited Manmohan Singh, who is recovering from a heart bypass surgery, to visit Paris before the G20 summit in London so that the two countries can hone common approaches on issues like global financial crisis that will be at the heart of multilateral negotiations this year.

“I am aware of your important commitments in spring, with the Indian general elections, but if it seems possible to you, I would be very happy to welcome you to Paris before the London G20 summit,” said Sarkozy in a letter Monday on the occasion of India’s 60th Republic Day.

“Indeed, such a meeting would allow us to strengthen our common approach on subjects that will be at the heart of the major multilateral events in 2009: G20, G13/G14 in the Maddalena Island and the Copenhagen Conference,” he said.

Manmohan Singh visited Paris in September last year that saw the two countries sign a landmark civil nuclear cooperation pact.

“After the tragic event that your country has suffered with the horrendous attacks which struck the city of Mumbai, I would like to renew my deepest solidarity and the absolute determination of France to fight along with you the scourge of terrorism,” said Sarkozy.

Alluding to his telephonic conversation with Manmohan Singh days after the Mumbai attacks in December, Sarkozy said: “France is prepared for the highest level of cooperation between the forces and relevant services of our two countries.”

Sarkozy also hoped for deepening civil nuclear cooperation with India after the two countries signed a bilateral atomic pact in September last year.

Underlining France’s desire to take its ties with India to a new level, Sarkozy wrote to Patil about his country’s commitment to developing partnerships to find “together with your country common solutions to today’s global challenges”.

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