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France Plans No Civilian Nuclear Deal With Pakistan, Official Says

A French official said his nation has no intention of pursuing a civilian nuclear trade deal with Pakistan, the Hindu newspaper reported Saturday (see GSN, July 27).

Following a meeting in May of the two nations' presidents, the Pakistani government announced that Paris had offered to partner with Islamabad in a broad-ranging civilian nuclear agreement similar to the one struck between France and India in 2008.

"I can say that nothing like it is on the table," said a senior French government official. "We (France) would like to ensure [the] safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal but there is no question of getting into an India-like civil nuclear pact with them. Nothing like it is happening."

The official said that the nuclear trade agreement with India would be executed in the "broadest possible way."

He said Paris was not interested in providing India with nuclear material reprocessing equipment because "the face that India has not signed [the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] is obviously a concern because what we do has to be in keeping with our international commitments" (Ashok Dasgupta, The Hindu, Nov. 21).

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