Author Topic: Canada-India nuclear cooperation focus of Harper visit  (Read 1197 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Canada-India nuclear cooperation focus of Harper visit
« on: November 17, 2009, 09:11:07 »
On a sidenote, perhaps it was better that he was merely clapping at that Bollywood performance he and his wife were at yesterday, instead of performing or singing again as well;D

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091117/national/harper_nuclear

Quote
NEW DELHI - The issue of a proposed civilian nuclear co-operation deal between Canada and India is taking centre stage as Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets Tuesday in New Delhi with senior government officials.


The Indian government has put its nuclear installations on alert amid reports of possible terrorist interest in several sites. Those precautions have a Canadian connection, having come via allegations that a Canadian man being held in Chicago, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, may have attempted terrorist recruitment in Mumbai -and his alleged accomplice David Headley may have visited some nuclear facilities.


Published Indian reports Monday, citing government sources, said fears of a nuclear power plant target arose after the FBI found maps and documents in their possession.


Headley has been accused in India of helping plot last November's terror attacks in Mumbai. The new intelligence, according to Indian reports, suggests he visited Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, all of which have nuclear installations.


While all the allegations are speculative and cloaked in official secrecy, any questions about Indian nuclear security only serve to highlight an already deeply sensitive Canada-India issue.


The two countries have a troubled nuclear past. Canada provided an early Canadian-designed reactor that India subsequently used to develop a surreptitious nuclear arms program in the early 1970s, despite official promises to the contrary.


The betrayal caused a two-decade chill in relations, and disarmament critics maintain that any renewed civilian nuclear trade, by definition, will free up Indian capacity to boost its nuclear arsenal
.


The Harper government announced last January it was pursuing renewed nuclear technology trade through a formal civilian commercial agreement, but a deal will not be signed here this week.


The issue apparently remains politically sensitive for the Conservatives.



A luncheon meeting Monday between the prime minister, Indian and Canadian nuclear business leaders and Indian government officials was not included on the highly detailed media itinerary provided to reporters travelling with the prime minister. No photo opportunity was arranged.


Hugh MacDiarmid, the president and CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., told The Canadian Press he was part of the luncheon meeting with Harper and his understanding is there are "no fundamental obstacles" remaining on the nuclear co-operation deal.



While stressing he is not privy to the negotiating details, MacDiarmid said he believes the remaining differences are "relatively modest and can be bridged."


He would not offer an opinion on whether Canada's past relationship with India may be complicating the negotiations.


"I'm a commercial guy running a business, I'm not a diplomat," he said.


ACEL has long-term hopes of selling another reactor to India, but in the meantime is working on contracts to service the existing Indian fleet. "That's a pretty easy one," said MacDiarmid.


More complicated is the issue of Canadian uranium sales to India.


India has limited domestic uranium supplies of its own. Any renewal of uranium imports from Canada or elsewhere - regardless of an airtight civilian agreement - would free up the Indians to use their domestic product in armaments.

The prime minister also met with a number of top India government officials Tuesday, including the foreign minister, the vice-president, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress Party.

In between, Harper and his wife Laureen visited the memorial site to Mahatma Ghandi, the father of modern India.

The prime minister inscribed the visitor's book calling Ghandi a "model for all humanity," then he and Laureen tossed rose petals on the spare, black marble monument.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 09:30:13 by CougarDaddy »
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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Offline Dennis Ruhl

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Re: Canada-India nuclear cooperation focus of Harper visit
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2009, 17:31:18 »
Nuclear cooperation.  I thought we already gave them the bomb. 

Perhaps they need a technology upgrade.  We sold them 2 CANDUs and they cloned 13 more.  What's in it for us ? (rhetorical question)
Banned for being a repeated administrative burden and not taking responsibility for his actions

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Canada-India nuclear cooperation focus of Harper visit
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2009, 15:49:19 »
And Harper wraps up his India visit.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091118/national/harper_india

Quote
AMRITSAR, India - India's stunning contrasts were once more in evidence as Prime Minister Stephen Harper concluded a three-day tour of the emerging South Asian economic giant.


While investment and trade were the ostensible touchstones of Harper's first visit to the Indian subcontinent since coming to power four years ago, tours of a pair of very different temples Wednesday served to provide the Conservative prime minister with some Indian multicultural bonafides on the home front.


"This trip is the culmination but it's also the jumping off point," Harper said in a brief wrap-up interview with two Canadian reporters chosen by the Prime Minister's Office.


"It's the culmination for a lot of that we've been doing for the past two or three years to really try to rebuild and build up our relationship with India and get it on a different plane."


That would be a Conservative plane, judging by the spectacular and politically savvy choice of sites for Harper's final two photo opportunities of the visit.


Harper began the day at the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, a majestic sea of tranquility off a busy New Delhi highway that boasts of being the largest Hindu temple in the world.


The ornate, solid stone edifice and manicured grounds were built over a five-year period ending in 2005 and includes a discreetly hidden Disney-style ride that floats visitors through a guided educational tour of the country's rich cultural, spiritual and intellectual history.


"Isn't this wonderful?" the prime minister said at the site, gesturing at the massive temple. "This is all new, gentlemen. Did you know that? It's not ancient, it just looks ancient."


Harper later said he took the advice of the Hindu swamis and prayed for world peace, which he added is "hoped for probably more strongly here in India than just about anywhere."


He then flew an hour northwest of the capital to Amritsar, the country's Sikh heartland and home to the famed Golden Temple.


The prime minister's visit to the sprawling 15th-century temple grounds attracted dozens of Indian cameramen and photographers, who along with curious onlookers turned the tight perimeter around Harper into an angry roiling mosh pit.


The prime minister's official photographer was among the many casualties roughly manhandled by zealous temple security in a wild moving scrum, set against the backdrop of the glittering gilded temple.


Hindus and Muslims make up the majority of India's pluralistic society, with Sikhs just a small fraction - but a large and politically active Sikh population in Canada makes the Golden Temple an attractive destination for Canadian politicians. Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien visited the site in 2003.



About a third of Canada's Indo-Canadian populace is Sikh, according to the 2006 census, with Hindus comprising another 27 per cent.


The Golden Temple has a long, bloody history - most recently a violent clash in 1984 that led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the bombing of an Air India flight out of Vancouver a year later.


A total of 329 people died when the jumbo jet went down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland.


Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill