There are however concerns about the huge costs involved in procuring the EPR nuclear reactors, which are yet untried. India and France will also collaborate on space technology and military hardware.

India and France on Monday decided to enhance their operational cooperation to expeditiously process extradition requests, curb money-laundering for terrorism and enforce the international sanctions regime against terrorist organisations.

“Our two governments will coordinate their endeavours in international bodies, such as the Financial Action Task Force, in order to define common positions and promote concrete initiatives. France and India call on all countries to become part, as a matter of urgency, of all international counter-terrorism conventions,” said a joint statement, which was issued after a summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the visiting French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Both sides also reiterated the importance of adhering to the sanctions against the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 and subsequent resolutions, and the need to preserve the regime's credibility.

Terming international terrorism one of the core issues in “bilateral strategic cooperation,” the joint statement expressed support for the India-initiated draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to address this problem at the multilateral level.

The two countries reaffirmed their determination to work for a stable Afghanistan, with Mr. Sarkozy and Dr. Singh welcoming their countries' contribution towards and efforts at the reconstruction and security of the country. They also underlined the need for adequate development of the Afghan National Security Forces to enable Afghanistan to defend its sovereignty and independence.

The two leaders expressed concern at the continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist groups “beyond Afghanistan's borders” and agreed that terrorism be combated firmly by the international community. They called on the “neighbours of Afghanistan” to play a constructive role conducive to its stabilisation and development.

The joint statement resolved to work together in making the G-20 a more effective tool for reforming the international monetary system.

Security Council reform

The two countries also decided to remain united in reforming the Security Council, countering the financing of terrorism and money-laundering, effectively combating climate change and utilising diplomatic tools to resolve the Iranian issue.

Recognising India's non-proliferation record, France agreed to work with India towards India's increased participation in international non-proliferation initiatives and full membership of multilateral export control regimes.

France and India expressed themselves in favour of making the G20 as effective as possible so that it better reflected today's world and challenges. With the French presidency of the G20 having just begun, India's dual participation in the G20 and the Security Council for 2010/2011 presented a “historic opportunity” to step up joint work in the two bodies, the statement said.

They supported international cooperation to reduce the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or material and reiterated their support for immediate negotiations in the Conference of Disarmament for a multilateral treaty to ban the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Korean standoff

The two countries also expressed concern at the situation in the Korean peninsula and urged North Korea to comply with international resolutions.

Following India's enactment of a civil nuclear liability law, both countries were ready to further exchange views on this issue to ensure an appropriate framework for the sound development of their cooperation.

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