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UK for civil nuke cooperation with Pakistan

Source: PTI
October 05, 2005 14:24 IST
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Britain has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Pakistan in the field of civilian nuclear energy, close on the heels of reports that Islamabad approached the Nuclear Suppliers Group seeking a deal in the same area.

"A delegation from UK will visit Pakistan next week to discuss with the representatives of Pakistani government on how to carry forward objectives in this regard," British Defence Secretary John Reid told reporters on Tuesday after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Pak approaches Nuclear Suppliers Group

Ried said the issue had already been discussed between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Pervez Musharraf when they met in New York last month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ried's comments followed reports that Pakistan had approached the Nuclear Suppliers Group, seeking a deal similar to the one between United States and India to produce nuclear power, saying it needed more atomic power plants to meet future energy requirements.

He said the Pakistan-UK partnership in different fields is getting stronger and Britain was committed to further bolster the ties.

No NPT without recognition as N-state: Pak

Observing that the two countries had done a lot to deal with the common threat of terrorism, he said, "we have to take on terrorists, who illegitimately without any bases claim the mentor of Islam, Christianity, socialism or nationalism. There is a need to tackle these terrorists through common efforts and with close partnership with Muslim nations."

Reid said efforts should be made at the global level to end injustice and exploitation of the poor nations and UK is prepared to play a role in this regard through developing aid, trade, education for Africa and debt relief programme.

Referring to his meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Defence Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal during his two-day stay, the British defence secretary said he discussed bilateral issues and war on terrorism.

Column: The nuclear deal

"We share a common interest in defeating terrorism and in many ways we have experience of being attacked by terrorists, therefore we have common interest in fighting terrorism," Reid added.

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