First BRIC foreign ministers meeting Friday

May 13th, 2008 - 1:14 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Foreign ministers of India, Brazil, Russia and China will hold their first meeting in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg Friday in an effort to enhance cooperation on global and economic issues among the four rapidly growing economies. The meeting will be the first stand-alone meeting of the foreign ministers of the BRIC countries, external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters here Monday.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet his counterparts, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, Brazil’s Celso Amorim and China’s Yang Jiechi and discuss with them a broad range of issues aimed at deepening economic and strategic cooperation among the four emerging economic giants.

They will review the international security situation and discuss a range of issues like counter-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, and global economic issues like multilateral trade negotiations and climate change.

Goldman Sachs articulated the concept of BRIC in 2003 to underline complementarities among the four economies that will make them the economic powerhouse of the world in a few decades.

Mukherjee will head to Yekaterinburg after wrapping up his official visit to the United Arab Emirates May 16.

The BRIC meeting will be followed by a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia.

The trilateral meeting will discuss ways and means to expand economic cooperation and coordination on global issues where the three nations have shared positions like global trade and environment.

The three ministers will also discuss the situation in Central Asia and the peace process in the Middle East. The Iranian nuclear crisis and North Korea’s nuclear programme will also come up for discussion.

Mukherjee is also likely to hold bilateral discussions with his Russian counterpart Lavrov - the first high-level visit from the Indian side to Russia after President Dmitry Medvedev assumed office last week.

The Russian foreign minister is likely to visit India before Medvedev comes here later this year, official sources said.

The three foreign ministers have also met on the sidelines of multilateral meetings in September 2002, September 2003, October 2004 and September 2005.

As part of the trilateral process, India hosted a trilateral business conference in New Delhi December 15, 2007 and a trilateral seminar on the evolution of geo-political strategic trends in New Delhi in March.

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