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India, France talk climate change in Caribbean

November 28, 2009 01:11 IST

India and France discussed ways to collaborate on tackling the problem of climate change as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met in Port of Spain on Friday, ten days ahead of the Copenhagen meeting on climate change.

Dr Singh and Sarkozy, both of whom are in the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), met on its sidelines.

The issue of climate change was the main focus of the discussions as the two leaders looked at ways to collaborate the challenge in the meeting.

The meeting between Dr Singh and Sarkozy on climate change assumes significance as it came just ten days before the Copenhagen Summit on the issue.

India is pressing for a "legally-binding substantive" outcome from the Copenhagen meet, disapproving the attempt by the US and some other developed countries to defer a cut in greenhouse gas emission.

New Delhi maintains that there is still some time left before the high level segment of the Copenhagen meet beginning on December 16 and efforts should be made to get the maximum from it.

France is not a member of the Commonwealth, a grouping of 53 former British colonies, but Sarkozy is here as a special invitee at the three-day Summit where climate change is the main theme of deliberations.

Dr Singh and Sarkozy are also understood to have discussed issues related to defence cooperation, particularly the upgrade of Mirage-2000 fighters by France.

Dr Singh and Sarkozy are also understood to have talked about the Indo-French civil nuclear cooperation in the backdrop of French Assembly adopting a law authorising the ratification of the pact signed in September last year.

The adoption is subsequent to the Senate passing the same law on October 15th, 2009.

The unanimous vote by both Assemblies is an important milestone in the development of civilian nuclear cooperation between France and India, the French Foreign Ministry has said.

"It will enable the early entry into force of the agreement. It now paves the way for strengthening relations between French and Indian partners and for more concrete developments in the industrial field," it said.

"The strengthening of the civilian nuclear cooperation will contribute to economic growth and development, improve energy security and contribute to limiting greenhouse gas emissions," the French ministry said.

Ajay Kaul in Port of Spain
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