NSG waiver opens way for India-France n-pact: French minister

September 17th, 2008 - 1:11 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) France Tuesday said the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s “historic” waiver to India has “opened the way” for signing of a bilateral agreement for nuclear trade between the two countries.”It opens the way for signing of the bilateral agreement, which was concluded during visit of President Sarkozy in January,” French Minister of State for External Trade Anne Marie Idrac said while underlining the NSG waiver as a “historic achievement”.

France is discussing the dates for signing a bilateral deal with the Indian government, she told reporters after the Indo-French Joint Committee meeting here.

“We hope that the cooperation will begin as soon as possible,” she said.

The proposed nuclear pact will figure prominently in discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris Sep 30, during Manmohan Singh’s visit, but it’s not cleat whether the pact will be signed.

If India and the US are able to sign the pact Sep 25, when Manmohan Singh meets US President George Bush in Washington after a ratification by the US Congress, there is a strong likelihood of the pact being inked between New Delhi and Paris September-end.

Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said the NSG waiver has opened opportunities for nuclear trade with any country within the parameters of broad NSG guidelines.

“With France having the maximum number of reactors in the world, India would be looking for best opportunities in any case,” Nath said.

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