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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

India enlists French support for Security Council berths

[b]India enlists French support for Security Council berths [/b]

From M Rama Rao - Reporting for Asian Tribune from New Delhi

[b]New Delhi, 13 September, ([/b] Marking the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Paris enroute New York and multi-billion dollar agreements for buying 43 Airbus aircraft ( about $2.4 billion) and six Scorpene submarines (worth $3 billion), France has announced full backing to New Delhi’s claim for a berth in the Security Council.

During an hour and half one-one meeting at the Elysee Palace, President Jacques Chirac agreed to Manmohan Singh’s request for lifting of curbs on nuclear energy sector and both leaders also worked out a broad agreement on defence cooperation and resolved to redouble efforts at fighting terrorism as also proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"I am happy that the Dr Singh is confirming today the decision (by India) to buy six Scorpene submarines and 43 Airbus aircraft," 72-year-old Chirac, said. And remarked: India's decisions are a measure of friendship, trust and cooperation between the two countries.

Neither side disclosed the total cost of the trade off. Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told reporters accompanying the Prime Minister that France had agreed to a reduction in the cost of the submarines.

Describing India as a major partner for France, Chirac said, this is the reason why France has always supported India's positions, in particular her legitimate aspiration for a seat at the UN Security Council as a permanent member.

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