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NSG decision does not ''undermine'' exemption to India: France news
01 July 2011

New Delhi: With Russia blowing hot and cold on the issue, France, atleast, appears to have stepped up to the plate and reiterated that the recent decision of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to strengthen guidelines on transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology would in no way undermine its bilateral cooperation with India in the field.

Jerome Bonnafont, French ambassador to India, said his country is "committed to the full implementation" of the cooperation agreement on the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy signed on 30 September 2008.

"France is strongly committed to the development of an innovative, broad-based and dynamic civilian nuclear cooperation with India and to mutually beneficial and productive exchanges for both our countries," he said in a statement here.

Referring to the decision of the 46-nation grouping taken last week, the ambassador said, "France confirms that this NSG decision in no way undermines the parameters of our bilateral cooperation" with India.

The clarification from the French embassy comes two days after prime minister Manmohan Singh informing a group of editors here that French president Nicolas Sarkozy had given an assurance to him about full implementation of the nuclear agreement, including transfer of sensitive technology.

Bonnafont clarified that the amendments undertaken by the NSG was not meant to target any particular country. "Coming after the decision of exemption from the full-scope safeguards clause, adopted in favour of India in September 2008, it does not undermine the principles of this exemption (given to India)," the envoy stated.

He said France was "sensitive" to India's commitment to non-proliferation and reaffirmed during the NSG plenary meeting its "full and complete support to India's adhesion to this (NSG) Group".

France also supports India's membership of the four multilateral export control regimes, as announced by Sarkozy during his visit to India in December 2010.

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NSG decision does not ''undermine'' exemption to India: France