Afzal Bajwa and Abrar Saeed ISLAMABAD - Vowing to open a new chapter of relationship with Pakistan, France on Thursday underlined the possibility of signing, inter alia, agreement on nuclear cooperation for civilian purposes during President Nicolas Sarkozys visit in coming December. The new chapter that France wants to open with Pakistan has two pillars including defence as well as internal security and economic development, said visiting French Minister for Foreign Trade Anne Marie Idrac while addressing a press conference here. Answering a question about security concerns of the foreign investors, she said, the government of France has full confidence in both Pakistans democracy and the countrys fight against terrorism. Therefore, she said, France wants to help Pakistan in its fight against terrorism by providing both training and equipment for the army for border defence and, of course, police for internal security. France wants Pakistani democracy to succeed. This requires security, fight against terrorism and economic development, the Minister said. According to her, it was the first visit of a French functionary of her level with economic portfolio to Pakistan in the last 20 years. On the economic development side, she underlined areas including transport, energy, water treatment and the food and agriculture as priority sectors for the development of Pakistan and all correspond to a strong French know-how. She further said that the main objective of her visit was to finalize framework on different trade and economic subjects before the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France will also provide Pakistan with modern technology including Fennec Helicopter for curbing terrorism, she added. To a question about Tiger Helicopters, French Ambassador here, Daniel Jouanneau, explained that the Pakistani army wanted these helicopters immediately while the French manufacturing company had a long waiting list. Therefore, Pakistan army, during the ongoing talks with French manufacturing companies, was discussing the purchase of Fennex helicopters. Earlier, the visiting French Minister responding to repeated questions about bilateral nuclear co-operation for civilian purposes, made it clear that her government was considering helping Pakistan only for safety and security of existing nuclear facilities. She said a technical group of the two countries would meet soon in future to weigh possibility of the cooperation in the particular area. When again asked about the possibility of France providing nuclear power reactors to Pakistan, she repeated her earlier statement. She said that French private companies would sign their agreements after the Presidents visit to enhance bilateral trade and defence relations between the two countries. She also said that her country had provided 2.3 million euros for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons, adding that additional 10 million euros had been given for supplying food to them. Idrac said that France would also provide 300 million euros during next three years (2009-2011) for social economic development, which had been announced in Friends of Democratic Pakistan Conference. Asked about specific projects, she said one that has already neared maturity is a water treatment plant in Lahore to be followed by another one in Faislabad, while the third project for sure in the pipeline was that of power development. Earlier, the French minister called on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan desired a long-term strategic partnership with France and welcomed the French willingness for fostering multi-pronged cooperation between the two countries. He also expressed his satisfaction with preliminary engagement between the two sides for signing of two framework agreements on defence and security and on economy and energy during the forthcoming visit of President Nicholas Sarkozy, later this year. The Prime Minister thanked France for its assistance to the displaced persons and highlighted Pakistans requirement for the continued foreign assistance in rehabilitation of the dislocated persons and in the reconstruction phase in areas affected by the militancy. He called for increased high-level exchanges between the two countries, particularly the parliamentarians which, he hoped, would pave the way for further strengthening the existing cordial ties in the political, economic, commercial, education and cultural fields. While dilating on the current power crisis in the country, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan would like to diversify its energy mix and would welcome Frances assistance in increasing the power generation capacity of the country, particularly in hydel, solar, wind and nuclear energy fields. The Prime Minister also sought Frances help to gain enhanced market access of its products to the European markets under EUs GSP Plus scheme and for starting negotiations on Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and EU. Anne Marie Idrac assured the Prime Minister of her countrys continued support to Pakistan to overcome its current economic difficulties and in winning the war against terror. She said that during her stay in Pakistan, she intended to hold detailed discussions with her counterpart on the framework agreement in economic and energy fields. APP adds: President Asif Zardari said that Pakistan with road links to China and rail and road links to India and Central Asia has a unique position for international trade and commerce. Talking to French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Ms Anne Marrie Idrac, the President said Pakistan had the resources of land, water and manpower and what it needed most was access to international market for its goods. Talking to mediamen about the meeting, spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President told the French minister that in the past because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and situation in the region, the security concerns had been emphasised more than social and human development.