Manmohan meets Hu, offers quake aid (Lead)April 15th, 2010 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
Brasilia, April 15 (IANS) India´s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday met Chinese President Hu Jintao and conveyed his condolences for the quake victims in China before the two leaders sat down for wide-ranging talks in the Brazilian capital.
Before beginning their formal talks, the two leaders shook hands and smiled before photographers at Hotel Grand Bittar where Hu is staying.
Hu opened the conversation by telling the Indian prime minister that he will be rushing back Thursday night to China in view of a massive 6.9 quake that struck Qinghai province Wednesday.
Manmohan Singh expressed sorrow and grief at the loss of lives and property in the quake and offered India´s readiness to help the injured and the displaced.
The two leaders discussed a host of bilateral, regional and international issues, including closer cooperation in areas ranging from climate change to democratisation of international financial institutions.
As Hu will be leaving early, the BRIC summit of India, Brazil, Russia and China, scheduled for Friday, will now be held Thursday night.
Manmohan Singh, too, will be leaving for India hours before his scheduled departure from Brasilia Friday.
“I have learnt with deep sorrow of the devastation wrought in Qinghai province by a severe earthquake yesterday,” Manmohan Singh said in a formal message to the Chinese president.
“The people and government of India join the people of China in mourning the loss of so many lives, and the untold damage done to property and infrastructure,” said Manmohan Singh.
“As your government rallies to the assistance of the injured and displaced, I want to assure you, Excellency, that the people of India share the grief of the people of China,” he said.
“We stand ready to render any assistance that you and your government may require of us,” he said.
The second BRIC summit, which groups nations projected by Goldman Sachs to be the world´s largest economies by 2050, will push for the democratisation of international bodies.
The leaders of the four countries will also hold intensive discussions on several issues, including the US drive to impose fresh sanctions against Iran for its suspect nuclear programme, the international financial crisis, climate change and counter-terror cooperation.
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