Following is the text of the joint statement released today after talks between External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and his Canadian counterpart Pierre Pettigrew:
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew Monday met with Indian External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh. The two discussed relations between Canada and India and agreed on new areas for cooperation.
"I welcome Foreign Minister Singh's visit and the occasion to advance the already dynamic partnership between Canada and India," said Minister Pettigrew. "India is a global power and an important partner with whom we are building an intense, broad and enduring relationship."
The two ministers reviewed progress in meeting the commitments outlined in the Joint Declaration agreed to by Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Manmohan Singh during the visit of Prime Minister Martin to India in January 2005.
They noted that advances have been made in all of the key areas of the Joint Declaration: a science and technology initiative, environmental cooperation, a partnership for prosperity, people-to-people links between Canada and India, and foreign policy issues.
The two ministers also discussed important regional and international security issues, including Afghanistan, south Asia, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, and counterterrorism. They agreed to maintain an ongoing discussion on these issues, including through the high-level strategic issues dialogue launched earlier in 2005.
They indicated that Canada and India will continue their counterterrorism collaboration and announced that the two countries will work toward jointly hosting a workshop on financial remittance systems and terrorism to be held in 2006.
The two ministers also agreed to explore ways to enhance energy relations between Canada and India.
Minister Pettigrew welcomed India's support of international nuclear non-proliferation norms and noted its interest in international cooperation in civilian nuclear energy. To this end, the two ministers agreed on the following measures:
Agreement by India to Canada's proposal for nuclear safety collaboration and agreement by both governments to develop a mutually beneficial bilateral framework.
Support by both governments for scientific and technical contacts on a broader range of civilian nuclear issues within the public domain.
Agreement by Canada to allow the supply of nuclear-related dual-use items to Indian civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Suppliers Group' dual-use guidelines and
Agreement by both governments to pursue further opportunities for the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy both bilaterally and through the appropriate international forums, consistent with their international commitments.
Both ministers reaffirmed the importance of deepening people-to-people and academic linkages between the two countries.
Pettigrew confirmed Canada's ongoing support for the work of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, which promotes, among other things, innovative science and technology partnering between Canadian and Indian member universities.
The two ministers agreed that continued high-level engagement is essential to building the partnership. In this regard, Pettigrew welcomed Singh's confirmation that the Indian prime minister will visit Canada in 2006.