New Delhi: France on Tuesday said nothing in the existing and future Nuclear Supplier's Group guidelines should be interpreted as detracting from the 'clean' exemption given to India or reducing the ambition of Indo-French "full" civil nuclear cooperation.

A key member of the 46-nation grouping, France reiterated its commitment towards "full civil nuclear cooperation" with India for the development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.." which covers all aspects of a civilian nuclear programme, including nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear fuel and nuclear waste management and scientific cooperation.

The NSG had recently decided to push for more stringent norms that govern technology transfer for enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology.

The reiteration assumes significance in view of the remarks made by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao warning that the latest "NSG decision is not the end of the road" and "there are leverages that we can exert from our side also" while referring to the expanding Indian nuclear industry.

In a statement, French Ambassador here Jerome Bonnafont said, "NSG guidelines play a key role in support of national export policies and decisions. France, therefore, strongly supports India’s adhesion to the Group and will take all initiatives necessary within the regime to ensure a swift process leading to this objective.”

"With a longstanding French support, India has been granted a clean exemption by the NSG, allowing for full civilian nuclear cooperation. This exemption reflects the unique situation of India and constitutes a historical achievement.

Therefore, in the French view, nothing in the existing and future guidelines shall be interpreted as detracting from that exemption or reducing the ambition of our bilateral cooperation," the French Ambassador said.

He said, "nuclear cooperation between France and India is based on the bilateral agreement on the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy signed on 30 September 2008 and entered into force on 14 January 2010.”

The scope of this cooperation is defined and decided by the parties, consistent with their respective national policies and international obligations, including the NPT as far as France is concerned, he said.

India, even after being a non-signatory to Non Proliferation Treaty, was given 'clean' exemption by NSG in 2008, opening the doors for the country to do nuclear commerce with other countries.

(Agencies)