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France backs India ahead of IAEA meet

July 17, 2008 18:33 IST

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Ahead of the meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to discuss safeguards agreement, France [Images] Thursday advocated the need for a global mechanism to enable India start civil nuclear cooperation with the other nations.

French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont said his country was ready to have large-scale nuclear cooperation in civilian areas with India once New Delhi enters into an agreement with the IAEA

India and IAEA have finalised the safeguards agreement which is now to be approved by the IAEA Board of Governors on August 1.

Bonnafont, whose country is a key member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, backed New Delhi's case for exemption to allow India have civil nuclear trade with the world.

"We need to have an international mechanism through which India can start civilian nuclear cooperation with rest of the world," he said.

Bonnafont also reiterated his country's support for India's permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.

The French envoy favoured increase in strategic cooperation with India in the field of education and development of human network between the two countries.

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