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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India, France concerned over growing spiral of violence in Iraq

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 13, IRNA -- India, France on Friday voiced deep 
concern over the growing spiral of violence in Iraq and underpinned 
the importance of UN involvement in guiding the political process in 
that war ravaged country. 
French Foreign Affairs Minister Dominique de Villepin, who arrived
here on a day long visit Thursday, told reporters after extensive 
talks on a wide range of issues with Indian External Minister Yashwant
Sinha that a failure in Iraq "will be a failure for everyone" and 
added "we need to have real political process in Iraq." 
Sinha also said, they discussed the situation in Iraq and the 
Middle East and the fate of the peace process besides exchanging views
on global proliferation issues. 
Sinha said, "we have welcomed the involvement of the UN in the 
processes of Iraq and we are keenly looking forward to the outcome of 
the UN Commission`s visit to that country." 
He stressed that "it is only the UN which can lend credibility to 
the process that we want to take place in Iraq including the return of
sovereignty to the people of Iraq, which should be the starting point 
of both democracy and peace in that country." 
Sinha said, to the extent to which a "credible" Iraqi 
administration takes over the reigns of government, the better it will
be for the establishment of peace in that troubled part of the world."
Terming as "exceedingly good" India`s relations with France, Sinha
said, there were shared values, concerns and approaches to many of the
issues as also a "greater degree of understanding." 
Villepin also said, "our bilateral relations are strengthening." 
On France playing a role in bridging differences between India 
and Pakistan, Villepin said, the two countries have exactly shown the 
way to settle their problems. "And this is the way to settle the 
problems in the world today." 
The French foreign minister will also delivere a speech here at 
the headquarters of the Scindia Foundation Friday. 
India`s relations with France are close, marked by mutual respect 
and understanding. Recent high-level exchanges including the visit of 
French President Chirac in 1998, Indian Premier in September 1998 and 
the visit of Indian President in 2000. India`s Deputy Prime Minister, 
L.K. Advani visited Paris in January 2003 during which the bilateral 
Extradition Treaty was signed. 
The Indo-French Strategic Dialogue, the Indo-French Forum and the 
various bilateral working groups have contributed to the development 
of a deep and diverse relationship between our two countries. 
The current level of bilateral trade is around Euros 2.5 billion 
in 2001 with a trade surplus of Euros 470 million in India`s favor. 
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