India discusses G8 issues, talks with China Tuesday

April 22nd, 2008 - 12:17 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Beijing/New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Ahead of the G8 summit in Japan in July, India and four other “outreach countries” Monday held talks to evolve a common stand on key global issues, including climate change and multilateral trade negotiations. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, who arrived in Beijing on a three-day visit, attended a preparatory meeting with top officials from China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa and discussed a host of issues that are expected to dominate the agenda of the G8 summit of the world’s most industrialized countries.

Menon pitched for the principle of equity in global climate change negotiations and reiterated India’s position of collective but differentiated responsibility between developed and developing countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions - a point of view that found echo among officials of the four countries, official sources said in New Delhi.

Japan will host the G8 summit in the northern island of Hokkaido in July, which is attended by outreach partners as permanent invitees.

In India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Special Envoy on climate change Shyam Saran clarified that there is no legal obligation on part of New Delhi under existing international climate change framework to take on binding emissions reduction obligations, now or in the post-2012 period.

India and China will discuss a host of bilateral issues, including the intensification of economic ties and connectivity when Menon meets Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei in Beijing Tuesday.

Menon is also likely to meet Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. Menon’s discussions with top Chinese functionaries will firm up the agenda for External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Beijing, likely in June.

Menon’s visit comes close on the heels of the smooth passage of the Olympic torch relay in New Delhi, which was held last week without any incident amid unprecedented security in view of fears of disruptions by Tibetan protesters.

The Chinese leadership is expected to reiterate its appreciation of the Indian government for ensuring incident-free torch relay as well as protection of the Chinese embassy and consulates in India during Tibetans’ protests.

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