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India, France Sign Civilian Nuclear Deal

Indian and French leaders have signed a landmark agreement that allows French companies to sell civilian nuclear technology to India.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the agreement Tuesday, saying the deal will form the basis of wide ranging bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy and research.

The deal was signed after talks in Paris between Mr. Sarkozy and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

French company Areva has said it hopes to negotiate the delivery of two nuclear reactors to India.

The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, which governs legal trade of nuclear materials around the world, ended a 34-year embargo on India earlier this month.

India is also near agreement on a separate civilian nuclear deal with the United States, which is awaiting approval in Congress.

International critics say the agreement undermines efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by allowing sales of such technology to those who have not agreed to full safeguards.

India has refused to sign nonproliferation agreements and has been under a nuclear trade ban since 1974.
 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

 

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