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India, UK to start negotiations on civil nuclear pact

New Delhi: Adding a new dimension to their strategic ties, India and the UK on Tuesday decided to start negotiations on a civil nuclear pact to facilitate entry of British companies into emerging atomic power sector in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the announcement after delegation-level talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron during which both sides reviewed entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets British Prime Minister David Cameron. AFP

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets British Prime Minister David Cameron. AFP

"We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral Civil Nuclear Agreement," Singh said.

India has already signed civil nuclear pacts with a number of countries including United States, France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Mongolia and Canada.

The Prime Minister said he thanked Cameron for Britain's support for India's full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes.

Cameron said Britain was in favour of transferring high-technology to India.

India has planned to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000MW in 2032 against its current installed capacity of 4,780MW and a number of countries have been vying to get a share of India's lucrative atomic energy market.

PTI