TORONTO, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Canada India Foundation today congratulated Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding his government's announcement of the successful conclusion of negotiations toward a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India. "The deal signifies the end of a 35 year impasse between two natural allies and ushers in a new era of economic cooperation for mutual prosperity. It also demonstrates that India recognizes Canada as a willing and able partner to devise and implement strategies to address India's vast energy requirements." commented Manoj Pundit, CIF Spokesperson.
"Signing of this nuclear cooperation agreement within two weeks of Prime Minister Harper's visit to India is testimony of the goodwill that was generated during his visit." noted Aditya Jha, CIF's National Convener. "We urge all opposition parties in Parliament to steadfastly support the government with respect to this bilateral agreement in the recognition of India as a responsible user of nuclear materials and technologies for peaceful civilian purposes. We especially implore those Parliamentarians who recently questioned the integrity of India's nuclear aspirations by comparing India to Iran to re-examine their positions and take a responsible and principled approach to the deal." commented Ramesh Chotai, CIF's Chair. "India is the largest democracy on earth, which respects the rule of law, has entrenched human rights and fundamental freedoms, and shares these core values with Canada."
On September 29th, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated India's commitment to a voluntary unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing at the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. This follows the decision last year by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (the governing body for global nuclear trade of which Canada is a member) to lift its restrictions on nuclear trade with India.
"The sale of civilian nuclear technology and hardware to India is expected to have a significant positive impact on Canada's economy. Exporting Canadian uranium to India would benefit the sagging sales of the radioactive material whose value has slumped in recent years and should aid the Canadian mining industry to recover from the impact of the global meltdown." noted Mr. Pundit.
"We are proud of our persistence and unwavering efforts over the last two years in raising awareness among Parliamentarians with regards to the urgency and significance of signing a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India." stated Mr. Chotai. Canada India Foundation held the first of its kind Canada India Energy Forum in April 2009 in Toronto which involved participation by senior business executives and political leaders from both countries including Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission, and Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources of Canada. CIF commissioned a report entitled, "Prospects of Indo-Canada Nuclear Relations", in conjunction with the Forum.
About Canada India Foundation (www.canadaindia.org)
Canada India Foundation is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on the growing importance of India as an emerging economic power and to increase the participation of Indo-Canadians in the public policy process in Canada. CIF's founding members include industrialists, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals.
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For further information: For further information: Manoj Pundit, Founding Director and Spokesperson, Canada India Foundation, Ph. (416) 816-0841, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org