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India, Canada to develop tsunami warning system

By Our Diplomatic Correspondent



The Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on Tuesday. Accompanying Mr. Martin are the Canadian Members of Parliament of Indian Origin, Gurbax S. Malhi (top right), Ms. Ruby Dhalla and Nandeep Bains (top left) and Ujjal Dosanjh, Federal Minister of Health, Canada (left, front row). — Photo: V. Sudershan

NEW DELHI, JAN. 18. Canada and India would be able to sort out differences on civilian nuclear cooperation over time, the Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, said at a joint press conference with his counterpart, Manmohan Singh, today.

Mr. Martin revealed that the Canadian nuclear agency had offered help to India in a matter of hours after the tsunami struck the country on December 26. Canada had a long relationship with India in the nuclear field, he pointed out.

Dr. Singh said India and Canada had agreed to work with third countries to develop a tsunami early warning system. "We have agreed to develop a tsunami early warning system."

Mr. Martin conveyed his condolences and "very deep regret" on the deaths and devastation caused by the tsunami while complimenting India on not only dealing with its own crisis, but also helping neighbours such as Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

A joint statement issued after the talks said the two Prime Ministers underlined the need for a strong and sustained international response to such adversity and welcomed coordination of relief efforts resulting from their participation in the "core group".

G-20 initiative

India, the statement said, also welcomed Mr. Martin's initiative for a meeting of G-20 leaders to discuss issues of global concern such as terrorism, development and global public health.

"They agreed to work towards the recommendations of the High-Level U.N. Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and reiterated their commitment towards contributing to a more effective, representative and accountable world body," it said.

"Recent developments in their respective regions featured prominently in the talks, notably the transition to democracy in Afghanistan, India's dialogue with Pakistan, the situation in Iraq, developments in South-East Asia and the Americas. They agreed that our countries should enhance their dialogues on international, regional and global strategic issues," the statement said.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Singh said the role and place of the Indian community in Canada was a topic of particular significance in his discussions with Mr. Martin.

"It is my deep hope and aspiration that very soon, it will not be necessary for Indians to go abroad to demonstrate their entrepreneurship."

In the meantime, it was important for India to take steps to maintain strong linkages with the Indian-Canadian community and facilitate contacts with their heritage.

"I take the occasion to recognise the members of the Canadian delegation present among us who are of Indian origin. They have done us proud in Canada," the Prime Minister added.

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