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Manmohan commits to Hollande on Jaitapur

Posted on Feb 14, 06:59PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 14 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday told visiting French President Francois Hollande that he is committed to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project.

"Today, President Hollande and I exchanged views on a number of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest. We reviewed progress on the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project and reiterated our commitment to its early implementation as soon as the commercial and technical negotiations, which have made good progress, are completed," said the PM.

The project is facing protest of local people in Maharashtra.

President of France Francois Hollande arrived here on Thursday for a two-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The PM said India is satisfied with the progress in defence cooperation with France, which is poised to reach a qualitatively new level.

"Discussions on the MMRCA contract are progressing well. We have also concluded negotiations on the Short Range Surface to Air Missile, which, once approved by the Government, will be co-developed and co-produced in India. There is a welcome shift from defence trade to co-development and co-production of advanced defence items in India, which will help expand our domestic production base and strengthen the India-France strategic partnership," he said.

"We also agreed to further strengthen our counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation," he said.

"France has been a longstanding partner in our space programme. In Septermber 2012, I was happy to witness ISRO's 100th mission, which successfully put a French satellite in orbit. Later this month, ISRO will launch the integrated SARAL satellite carrying the ALTIKA and ARGOS payloads from the French National Space Agency," said the PM in his joint statement with the French President.

Hollande is accompanied by his partner Valerie Trierweiler, a high-level delegation including several key Ministers of his Cabinet, senior officials, business-persons and media.

He was given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is then visiting Raj Ghat to pay homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.