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EU cagey on support for nuclear deal

The body may consider India's quest for N-energy only after int'l conditions improve, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 04:32 IST

European Union and Indian leaders agreed to boost cooperation in fighting terrorism on Friday, particularly by focusing on sharing of information and intelligence, but appeared to have put off a clear response to Delhi's request for support to its civil nuclear programme.

The EU has also delayed approval of India's membership in the Galileo Global Satellite Project. Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon had last week said the agreement, initialed last year, was almost ready for signatures. "We hope to sign it at the end of this."

European Union leaders conveyed their support for India's energy security approach but are understood to have signalled that they could consider cooperating with India on its quest for nuclear energy only after international conditions improve. The reference to better international conditions is being seen as a pointer to the impact of North Korea's nuclear test conducted earlier this month.

In his opening remarks made at the seventh EU-India summit, Singh had spoken of the ongoing discussions that Delhi was having with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

A meeting in Vienna with the NSG on Thursday gave India "the opportunity to reiterate its firm commitment to non- proliferation objectives while working with like-minded countries in expanding cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Singh said.

First Published: Oct 14, 2006 00:00 IST