France IS Ready For Complete Civil Nuclear Cooperation
Dr. Manmohan Singh
According to Indian PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh, France has assured India that it is ready for full civil nuclear cooperation with India, including transfer of sensitive technologies.
"(French) President Sarkozy was categorical in asserting that France is ready for full civilian nuclear cooperation with India," Singh said in New Delhi on Friday.
In the Rajya Sabha, the Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury had asked for clarification on the Prime Minister's statement in the light of the G8 statement that bans transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to countries that have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Replying to the query, Singh said that he did raise the issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "He was absolutely emphatic that France was eager for full civil nuclear agreement with India. Full includes ENR (enrichment and reprocessing) technology," he added.
He also pointed out that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had made a statement on the issue in the Rajya Sabha in his absence, but added that he was ready to make a detailed explanation on the subject.
"We have a clean waiver from the NSG. We have an India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). We are not concerned over what position the G8 takes (on nuclear commerce with India)," Pranab Mukherjee had said on Monday.
"Every individual country (that is a member of the NSG) can trade with us. Is G8 the right forum for discussing the terms of nuclear trade with India? It is not the relevant and appropriate authority," he added.