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India, France sign 9 agreements

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Last updated on: February 20, 2006 18:06 IST

India and France Monday signed nine agreements, including a declaration on nuclear energy and a pact on defence cooperation, after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting French President Jacques Chirac.

Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste Blazy signed the Declaration on the Development of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes in the presence of Singh and Chirac.

The two countries noted that the declaration was an important step forward in the realisation of the objective of the two countries to conclude a bilateral civil and nuclear cooperation agreement and in taking forward the long-standing Indo-France cooperation in the sector.

The two countries, "...agreed to continue to work together towards the fulfilment of that objective," a joint statement issued after the talks said.

Both sides recalled the joint statement of September 12, 2005 in which they had agreed to work towards conclusion of a bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

The agreement on defence cooperation was signed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie.

The joint statement described the defence agreement as an important element of the strategic partnership between the two nations, building upon and expanding cooperation in defence and military fields.

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