Trust our nuclear technology: French president to India

French President Francois Hollande Friday urged India "to trust" his country's nuclear technology and extended France's support to the Indian nuclear power generation programme.

Hollande stressed the need for cleaner technologies and highlighted issues of global warming and green house emissions at a summit hosted by business organisations like CII, FICCI and Assocham here Friday evening.

France is helping India construct two nuclear power reactors at the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri, 400 km south of Mumbai. The project has been facing stiff resistance from locals, NGOs, anti-nuclear groups and some political parties.

Admitting that global warming and greenhouse emissions pose a challenge, Hollande said: "We can have great joint ambitions on values of democracy and liberation on this issue. We are seeking partnership not just at a contract level but even higher than that."

Saying that technology liberates man, Hollande said it was up to "you to decide what is the best" and assured that France would work within the best possible framework and environment.

Earlier Friday, Hollande met Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Industry Minister Narayan Rane, Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Protocol Minister Suresh Shetty and stressed the importance of nuclear energy.

"France is keen to increase cooperation with Maharashtra in diverse areas like infrastructure development, water transport, agriculture products," Hollande said.

Hollande also invited Indian filmmakers to shoot in France and said: "Indian films will bring happiness to the people of France."

The French president arrived Mumbai Friday afternoon. He also visited the Lafarge laboratory in Andheri.

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