Prime minister leaves for New York

September 22nd, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday left on a 10-day visit to the US and France - an important trip that could seal the path-breaking nuclear deal with Washington and another atomic pact with Paris. Manmohan Singh will address a galaxy of world leaders at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York Sep 26 after a gap of three years. Terrorism, the UN reforms, food security, poverty eradication and promoting universal and verifiable disarmament will be some of the leading themes in his UN speech.

US President George Bush will host Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington Sep 25. If the US Congress approves the 123 nuclear pact by then, the two leaders will sign the implementing 123 nuclear cooperation agreement. Bush will also host a dinner for his Indian guest.

Manmohan Singh will meet several world leaders on the sidelines of the UNGA session in New York, including Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The PM will leave New York for Marseilles Sep 28 to attend the India-European Union (EU) Summit scheduled there the next day. It will be followed by a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Sep 30. The two leaders are likely to sign an India-France nuclear cooperation pact.

Manmohan Singh is accompanied by foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, prime minister’s special envoy on the India-US nuclear deal Shyam Saran, additional secretary (in-charge of UN) Vivek Katju, and other senior officials of the prime minister’s office (PMO) and foreign office.

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