German Chancellor meets Manmohan Singh at G8-G5 summit

July 10th, 2009 - 12:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh By Naveen Kapoor

L’aquila, July 10 (ANI): German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met on the sidelines of the G8-G5 summit here on Thursday.

They reportedly discussed bilateral issues and topics pertinent to the summit.

Leaders of the world’s richest nations and major developing powers would have on the table issues like global warming and international trade, with the poorer countries seeking concessions.

U S President Barack Obama would chair the climate discussions, but hopes of agreeing on ambitious emission-reducing goals have faded after China and India rejected demands to halve their emission of greenhouse gases by 2050.

The talks have been broadened to include the heads of new economic powerhouses in recognition that the world’s problems can no longer be dealt with by an elite few.

The fragile state of the global economy dominated the first day of the annual G-8 summit, with the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia acknowledging that were still significant risks to financial stability.

The 17-member Major Economies Forum (MEF), which groups the G-8 plus big developing nations, also looks set to embrace the two Celsius goal on Thursday, but is balking at making further commitments ahead of a decisive U.N. climate conference in December.

Progress has been hampered by the absence of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who withdrew from talks to attend to ethnic clashes in China’s northwest that have killed 156 people and wounded over a thousand.Indian negotiators said developing countries first wanted to see rich nation plans to provide financing to help them cope with ever more floods, heatwaves, storms and rising sea levels.

Broader economic concerns are also high on the agenda, with emerging nations complaining that they are suffering heavily from a crisis that was not of their making.

China, India and Brazil have all questioned whether the world should start seeking a new global reserve currency as an alternative to the dollar. They have said they may raise this on Thursday after having discussed it amongst themselves on July 8.

The debate is highly sensitive in financial markets, which are wary of risks to U.S. asset values, and the issue is unlikely to progress very far in L’Aquila.

However, a breakthrough on trade may be within reach. Diplomats say the G-8 and G-5 should agree to conclude the stalled Doha round of trade talks in 2010. Launched in 2001 to help poor countries prosper, they have stumbled on proposed tariff and subsidy cuts. (ANI)

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