Bush, Chirac review India's nuclear energy plan

23rd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 22, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and US President George W. Bush discussed the need for "international consensus" over India's nuclear energy activities by telephone Wednesday, Chirac's spokesman said.

PARIS, Feb 22, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and US President George W. Bush discussed the need for "international consensus" over India's nuclear energy activities by telephone Wednesday, Chirac's spokesman said.

Chirac visited India on Sunday and Monday and signed a declaration under which France and India would pursue nuclear energy cooperation "exclusively for peaceful purposes".

The declaration confirmed the two countries were in talks to strike "a bilateral cooperation agreement on the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, subject to their respective international commitments and obligations".

Bush is due to visit India in early March.

During his conversation with Bush, Chirac "stressed that France would push for an international consensus to allow India access to civilian nuclear technology within the constraints of non-proliferation," the spokesman said.

India has been a nuclear power since 1998 but is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prevents it working with members of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, an informal group of countries which export nuclear materials and technology.

When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited India in July 2005, he promised to ask Congress to lift sanctions imposed on Delhi so as to allow cooperation on civilian nuclear technology.

In return India agreed to separate its civilian nuclear activities from its military ones and to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to examine its civilian nuclear sites.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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