Posts Tagged ‘Sarkozy’

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Sarkozy pushes nuclear, arms deals on India visit

December 5, 2010
The Indian Air Force has the second largest fl...

IAF Mirage 2000H: Image via Wikipedia reports on the French President’s 4 day visit to India soon after the visits by President Obama and the Russian Prime Minister. The Chinese Premier is due next.

Close on the heels of India’s environment ministry clearing the last hurdle for French nuclear company Areva to supply six third-generation pressurised water reactors for a project worth Rs95,000 crore ($22 billion), French president Nicolas Sarkozy today kicked off a four-day visit to the country, pitching for new nuclear energy and arms contracts.

However, villagers in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, where the plant will come up, today staged a protest. Reports said at least 10,000 people turned up at the site to oppose the project.

Sarkozy, heading a large delegation of 7 ministers as also 60 business leaders, including the heads of aircraft-makers Dassault Aviation and EADS and Areva, to lobby for multibillion-dollar contracts for fighter jets and nuclear equipments, also stressed India’s increased stature in world affairs.

Although Indian officials said no defence deals will be signed during Sarkozy’s visit, French aircraft maker Dassault is hoping to secure a $1.2-billion contract to upgrade 56 Mirage-2000 aircraft that India bought from France in the 80s.

Dassault and EADS are vying with US and Swedish rivals for an Indian Air Force purchase order for 126 warplanes, for an estimated $11 billion.

“We all know how critical it is for India to ensure its energy security,” Sarkozy said in a speech at the Indian Space Research Organisation at India’s technology hub Bangalore.

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