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India, UK pledge N-energy co-op

They also decided to work together to bring about an international norm of "zero tolerance" to fight terrorism.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2005 20:40 IST

After the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal, India and Britain on Thursday agreed to cooperate in civilian nuclear energy sector and finalised accords covering cooperation in hydrocarbons and four other key areas.

They also decided to work together to bring about an international norm of "zero tolerance" to fight terrorism.

Meeting in Udaipur a day after the landmark India-EU Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his British counterpart held candid exchange of view on a host of issues covering UN reforms, India's growing energy needs and the immense potential for expanding bilateral trade and investments.

"We agreed to cooperate in civilian nuclear energy. The UK recognises the need for a supportive international environment to meeting our pressing energy requirements," Singh said at a joint press conference with Blair after their return from Udaipur.

The two sides decided to intensify cooperation in frontier areas of science and technology and the knowledge sector and firmed up accords for cooperation in hydrocarbons, which Singh described as "important for our overall energy policy".

Three agreements were finalised on air services, co-production of films and intellectual property rights while a memorandum of understanding was reached on sustainable development.

"We agreed that there can be no justification for terrorism on any grounds, religious, political, ideological or any other. Together with international unity and resolve, we can meet the challenge of this global scourge and work to bring about an international norm of zero tolerance for terrorism," Singh said.

Voicing "deepest sympathy and solidarity" to the British government and the people on the terrorist atrocities that they recently been subjected to, he said "India, as a victim of terrorism for over two decades, extends its whole-hearted support to Britain".

Singh said Blair reaffirmed his commitment to India's candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council, "on which I expressed appreciation for his Government's clear and long-held position."

On cooperation in the energy sector, the Prime Minister said the two sides "agreed that our collective efforts to ensure energy security will be accorded priority".

Terming India-UK relationship as "special" and one, which contained "exceptional potential", Singh said both governments were determined to realise this potential to their advantage.

Emphasising that India attached very high priority to its relations with Britain, he said, "Our ties are growing in every sphere as we give concrete meaning to a very comprehensive partnership".

He said a Chair named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru will be founded at Cambridge University by the Indian Government.

First Published: Sep 08, 2005 02:11 IST