PM to leave a day earlier for US, BrazilApril 9th, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave Saturday - a day earlier than scheduled - to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, as well as participate in multilateral meetings with developing nations in Brasilia.
According to officials, the change was made to accommodate “bilateral engagements”, which seemed to indicate that there could be an important meeting between him and US President Barack Obama.
The Nuclear Security Summit, to be held April 13, will be attended by leaders of over 45 countries.
After attending the summit in Washington, Manmohan Singh will travel to Brasilia, Brazil, where he will discuss Iran and financial crisis with the leaders of Brazil, Russia and China as part of the BRIC summit, as well participate in the trilateral IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) summit.
“The agenda for discussions ranges from international financial crisis, G-20 related matters, climate change and United Nations reform and regional issues like Iran, Middle East, Haiti and a general follow-up of dialogue of BRIC countries,” Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (Economic Relations) Parbati Sen Vyas told reporters.
She noted that the BRIC group, which uniquely began as an economic modeling argument by Goldman Sachs, was still at a “nascent stage”. This is the second stand-alone meeting of the four leaders after the last meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Asked if there was any interest from countries like South Africa to join BRIC, Vyas said: “A decision on expansion will be taken by leaders. Nothing has been decided as yet”.
Besides the economic crisis, the MEA secretary pointed out, the group was an “interesting mixture of energy producers and consumers”, which could lead to discussions on improving energy process.
It will be the first time that the Iran nuclear issue will be discussed at the forum, but officials pointed out there were a lot of commonalities in the position on the subject between the four countries.
A joint statement is expected to be released at the end of the BRIC summit, along with a statistical document.
At the IBSA summit, two memorandums of understanding on solar energy and science and technology will be signed. Besides, other agreements, like that in cooperation in sports, were under discussion.
Speaking about the trilateral sports agreement, Secretary (West) Vivek Katju pointed out that all three countries are soon to host very significant sporting events.
South Africa will be hosting the FIFA World Cup this June, and India to organise the Commonwealth Games in October. Brazil is the host for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
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