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|September 16, 1998||
France recognises India as a nuclear weapon state, says ex-PM
France recognises India as a nuclear weapon state after the nuclear tests conducted last May, Laurent Fabius, speaker of the French national assembly and a former prime minister of that country, said in New Delhi today.
Addressing a press conference, he said, "We recognise facts, it is a fact that your country (i) is very advanced in nuclear field, you also proved your weapon capability."
Fabius is on a three-day official visit to India and held talks with Vice-President Krishan Kant, Lok Sabha Speaker G M S Balayogi and Prime Minister A B Vajpayee. He will travel to Bangalore and Bombay tomorrow.
France, Fabius said, favoured reforms of the United Nations, including the Security Council. He added that India would have to play a much greater role in the reformed Security Council as it was one of the most populous countries and a great democracy.
He was also in favour of having an economic and social council under the UN system to address new crisis situations like the global financial crunch. He pointed out that the present system was created to deal with the post-World War II situations. Today, the world issues are totally different and need a different approach, he added.
Fabius said the Kashmir problem should be bilaterally dealt with between India and Pakistan. He was pessimistic about any third party intervention.
The French speaker said his visit would help warm up Indo-French relations on the eve of Prime Minister Vajpayee's Paris visit next week on the way back from the United Nations.
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