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India has to make compromises on N-separation: France
Ajay Kaul and V Mohan Narayan in New Delhi | February 11, 2006 01:09 IST
France Friday said India will have to make "some compromises" on the issue of separation of its civil and military facilities as lack of consensus in the Nuclear Suppliers Group could put any arrangement on nuclear cooperation "on hold".
Though French Ambassador Dominique Girard said some kind of document on civil nuclear cooperation might be signed during the visit of President Jacques Chirac in New Delhi later in February, he noted, "Clearly, India has to make some proposals, some efforts acceptable to us, to the Americans and all the other Nuclear Suppliers Group countries."
While France did not have the "same constraints" as the Americans with regard to public opinion or policy, he said "there are some compromises which have to be made by India".
"Clearly, from the overall political point of view, we have pre-occupations, which are similar to that of the US," he said in an interview to PTI adding, the issue of separation of India's civil and military nuclear facilities was the "most important hurdle" in civilian nuclear cooperation.
He responded to a range of issues covering civilian nuclear energy cooperation, the Clemenceau ship controversy, defence and economic cooperation and expectations from Chirac's visit from February 19 to 21.
Girard's remarks come close on the heels of the comments by US Ambassador David Mulford that India would have to put "great majority" of its nuclear facilities in the civilian side failing which the American Congress would think New Delhi has an agenda different from that of developing civilian nuclear industry.