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France and Britain discuss joint nuclear plan

LONDON, England (CNN) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British leader Gordon Brown were meeting Thursday to discuss plans for a joint nuclear power program to export technology to non-nuclear states across the world.

The meeting at Downing Street was the main focus of the second day of a two-day state visit by the French leader to Britain.

As part of the talks, the two leaders were also expected to discuss plans to replace Britain’s raft of ageing nuclear power plants.

France produces 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, compared with 20 percent in Britain.

According to CNN’s European Political Editor Robin Oakley, co-operation on a nuclear deal will be easy for France but could prove more problematic for Britain, where the energy source remains unpopular with the public. Read how the Sarkozys charmed Britain Brown plans to host a conference later this year for non-nuclear countries who aim to develop civilian atomic power programs.

London would extend an invitation to Iran, if it meets its international obligations to cease uranium enrichment, The Associated Press reported the prime minister’s office as saying.

Sarkozy and his glamorous wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy arrived at the British leader’s official residence late morning local time.

The previous day, the French first lady had threatenend to overshadow her husband in a succession of demure Christian Dior costumes as the couple attended a royal dinner given in their honor by the queen.

Earlier in the day, Sarkozy won a standing ovation from British lawmakers following a fiery speech calling not just for entente cordiale but for a new fraternite or brotherhood between the two nations.

Sarkozy told parliament that his government was willing to commit more troops to the war in Afghanistan, calling the fight there crucial to the NATO alliance.

We cannot afford to lose Afghanistan, he said. We cannot afford to see the Taliban and al Qaeda returning to Kabul. Whatever the cost, however difficult the victory, we cannot afford it. We must win.

U.S. and NATO forces are battling a resurgent Taliban and its al Qaeda allies in Afghanistan nearly seven years after al Qaeda’s 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The United States has pushed for a greater allied combat presence in the country, and Afghanistan is expected to top the agenda when NATO heads of state gather in Romania in early April.

Afghanistan is one of the issues Sarkozy is expected to be discussing with Brown Thursday.
France and Britain discuss joint nuclear plan – found here.

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March 27, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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