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India, EU ready to ink Galileo project pact

Foreign Secretary says the talks on the agreement have reached an advanced stage and it could be ready for signing.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 22:15 IST

India and the European Union (EU) would conclude soon an agreement providing for New Delhi's participation in the multi-billion dollar Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters in the capital that the talks on the agreement have reached an advanced stage and it could be ready for signing.

He was briefing media about the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Britain and Finland. In Helsinki, Singh will attend the India-EU Summit and it is likely that the agreement may be signed during the visit.

The two sides inked a framework agreement in September last year during the visit of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Galileo programme, a joint venture of European Commission and European Space Agency initiative, represents the first global satellite positioning and navigation system deployed at an estimated cost of 3.4 billion Euros.

Conceived as a core infrastructure upon which applications would be built, the project is designed to meet the specific needs of users in every transport domain, especially aviation, maritime, road and rail transport.