“This will enable it to assume its full role in G20”

During his first stopover on his four-day visit to India here on Saturday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a permanent seat for India in the U.N. Security Council.

It was “unthinkable” that a country of a billion people should have no representation in the Security Council, he said in his address at the Indian Space Research Organisation where he arrived with his wife Carla Bruni and a large contingent of French ministers and executives.

India's recent election to the Security Council for two years “must serve as the prelude to a permanent Indian presence within the UNSC,” Mr. Sarkozy said.

The UNSC must be expanded to include new permanent members — India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — and must have representation from Africa and the Middle-East, he said, adding India should join the Security Council as a permanent member so that it can assume its full role in the G20.

Nuclear energy would be the “focus” of Indo-French cooperation, he said, lauding the “considerable environmental benefit” and “energy independence” that it brought. As much as 80 per cent of France's electricity came from nuclear source.

India's decision to expand its nuclear energy production from 4,000 to 62,000 megawatts in 20 years represents a “change of attitude.” With the completion of the proposed nuclear power project at Jaitapur, to be built in collaboration with the French company Areva, the six Indo-French EPR plants would provide 10,000 megawatts of energy, said Mr. Sarkozy.

France hoped to take in three times the number of Indian students in its universities by 2012 compared to 2007, he said.

“France wishes to expand ties with Indian universities, and wants to host more Indian students.”

Mr. Sarkozy said: “No nation and no region can live in isolation. If we succeed in defeating terrorism and the insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we will have eliminated a major source of global instability.”

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