Manmohan to go to China, Japan

October 9th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Buoyed by recent foreign policy successes in the shape of the nuclear deal with the US, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh goes to China as an invitee to the ASEM summit of Asian and European leaders later this month. This is the first time that India will be participating in the summit that brings together leaders and representatives of 45 nations from the two continents.

The prime minister is likely to leave on the tour Oct 20-21 that will also take him on an official trip to Japan, official sources told IANS.

The 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Beijing Oct 24-25 will be the first multilateral conclave Manmohan Singh will be participating in after the inking of India’s historic nuclear pacts with the US and France.

The summit will focus on expanding dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe on a wide range of global issues ranging from terrorism and security issues to multilateral trade, climate change and nuclear non-proliferation.

Founded in 1996, ASEM’s invitees include China, Japan, South Korea, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, the 10 nations of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Secretariat, the 27 nations of the European Union, and the European Commission.

India, along with Pakistan and Mongolia, were invited to join the ASEM only two years ago.

Manmohan Singh will also be holding bilateral talks with China’s President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the ASEM summit, official sources said.

The prime minister will also go to Tokyo for bilateral talks with new Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

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