Pranab discusses strategic ties with Russian foreign minister

September 30th, 2008 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 30 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee held wide-ranging discussions with his Russian counterpart Servey Lavrov here on international issues, taking stock of the strategic partnership between the two countries and the state of preparations for their bilateral summit-level meeting.Mukherjee, who is on a five-day visit in connection with the ongoing 63rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), also had a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from several other countries.

He will participate in an informal plenary meeting of the UNGA to commemorate the second International Day of Non-Violence Oct 2. On Tuesday, he was scheduled to speak at Asia Society on “India and global challenges: climate change and energy security”.

Lavrov, foreign minister of the Russian Federation, will soon be visiting India for the detailed and substantive agenda that is planned for the summit, which will seek to provide a fresh impetus to the wide-ranging bilateral relationship, according to a press release from the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.

Mukherjee also met Monday Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Paula G. Scoon; Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe; N. Dlamini Zuma of South Africa and Salaheddin Al-Bashir of Jordan.

He participated in three ministerial meetings, including the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) initiative, the India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

An informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers was convened by Rohitha Bogollogama, foreign minister of Sri Lanka, that reviewed the progress in implementing the decisions and recommendations of the 14th and 15th SAARC summits, held in New Delhi (April 2007) and Colombo (August 2008) respectively.

The meeting between India and the GCC was chaired by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al-Thani, foreign minister of the state of Qatar, and discussed the situation in West Asia, in the particular context of the Middle East peace process and the situation in Iraq.

The IBSA meeting reaffirmed the three countries’ commitment to further strengthening IBSA and their joint resolve to enhance coordinated positions on global political and multilateral issues of importance, especially in terms of those issues which have a major impact on developing countries, such as the imperative to reform Global Governance institutions to be more representative and democratic.

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