France showed interest to have nuclear cooperation with India on the pattern of the Indo-US deal. However, it would like to wait for the outcome of talks between New Delhi and IAEA.
“We are in favour of initialing a sort of future agreement (with India) like America wants to do (with India) on civil nuclear power,” visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told journalists here soon after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He, however, said Paris would have to wait for the IAEA, apparently referring to the ongoing talks between India and IAEA for a safeguards agreement as a follow up to the nuclear deal with the US.
France also expressed its dissatisfaction with the Indian decision to scrap the deal with European defence company Eurocopter for purchase of 197 Fennec helicopters but it is not complaining and will participate in the fresh bidding.
A fortnight after Indian government scrapped the Rs 17,000 crore deal alleging that Eurocopter had “deviated” from procedures, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the France-based company will participate in the second bidding process as it is confident of winning it.
“I am not satisfied,” Kouchner said, when asked about the Indian government’s decision to scrap the Eurocopter bid for “procedural reasons” and seek fresh bidding.
“We have decided to participate in the new bidding process and we are confident we will win,” he said. Eurocopter is a France-based segment of European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS), a consortium of several European countries.