Indian president welcomes Belarus' offer on civilian N-energy cooperation

New Delhi, April 17, IRNA

Underlining the rapidly rising energy demand in the fast growing scenario, President A P J Abdul Kalam has welcomed the Belarus' offer for the full international civilian nuclear energy cooperation as a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Presenting his opinion over the growing energy need of India, Kalam said, "To sustain a high rate of growth, India faces the challenge of meeting it's rapidly rising energy demand."

In a speech at a banquet hosted for Belarus' President Aleksandr G Lukashenko, Monday evening, Kalam said, "We have been expecting to use the nuclear energy as an important element in this direction, as it is near to clean energy.

"In this context, we greatly appreciate the Belarus' approach, as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), to support the full international civil nuclear energy cooperation with India." Observing that Belarus and India have been rapidly growing in economic region, Kalam said the two countries could enhance their economic ties by availing a vast array of opportunities on both sides.

President Kalam has further suggested that 'direct lab-to-lab joint program' for intensifying the cooperation in the spheres of defense, science and technology, trade and investment should be done.

He said India has been always ready to strengthen the people-to- people bond between the two countries through its expertise in the capacity of building and specialized skill development, especially in areas like IT.

Kalam noted that 'bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is still below its potential' and also asked to set a target of dlrs 500 million through two-way trade by 2010.