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After France, Canada’s turn to seal N-deal

India and Canada have reached an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation after months of hectic negotiations, paving the way for supply of Canadian atomic technology, equipment and uranium to New Delhi.

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 23:27 IST

India and Canada have reached an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation after months of hectic negotiations, paving the way for supply of Canadian atomic technology, equipment and uranium to New Delhi.

The negotiations were concluded at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper (in picture) here on the margins of the Commonwealth Summit.

The two leaders described the development as a “milestone” opening up “tremendous opportunity” for their countries.

“The civil nuclear agreement is a very important step forward, a milestone for the development of our relationship,” Singh said.

Canada, the world’s largest producer of uranium, has become the eighth country with which India has reached a civil nuclear agreement since the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted a 34-year-old ban on New Delhi to join global nuclear trade in September last year.

The other countries with which India has signed the deal are the US, France, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.

“We have now got an agreement which means this is a tremendous opportunity for both countries,” Harper said after negotiations were firmed up.

The Canadian PM was in New Delhi on November 17 when the two countries announced they were working to complete the nuclear deal.

“I thank the Prime Minister (Harper) from the core of my heart for having expedited this process beyond my expectations, “Singh said.

He added “we have discussed ways and means of expanding the content of our relationship, to widen it and to deepen it in every possible way”.

Harper said “Increased collaboration with India’s civil nuclear energy market will allow Canadian companies to benefit from greater access to one of the world’s largest and fastest expanding economies.”

The agreement will allow Canadian firms to export and import controlled nuclear material, equipment and technology to and from India, a statement issued by Harper’s office said.