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PM to leave for G-8 summit today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is leaving tomorrow morning for St Petersburg in Russia to participate in the G-8 summit which will discuss a wide range of issues including terrorism and energy security in view of spiralling crude oil prices.

The event would also provide an opportunity to the Prime Minister to interact with leaders of the eight most powerful and developed nations and hold bilateral meetings with them as well.

One such important bilateral meeting on the margins of the G-8 summit would be Dr Manmohan Singh’s talks with US President George W. Bush. Since the Prime Minister is skipping this year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York which would have thrown up an opportunity for his bilateral meeting with Mr Bush, the Manmohan-Bush meeting has been arranged in St Petersburg.

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, in his special media briefing today, said the St Petersburg G-8 summit was to address mainly issues relating to energy security, the global infectious diseases, global health problems, as well as education-related problems. In addition, since Africa was a major theme at the Gleneagles Summit, this time, there would also be a focus on Africa on the progress that has been made on the implementation on some of the recommendations that were made at the last summit.

In view of this, Congo would also be attending the G-8 summit this time, besides the usual five countries - India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.

Besides global security and terrorism, there would be pointed focus on world trade, in particular the follow-up to the ministerial meeting which was held in Geneva. Some of the international trade related issues relating to the Doha Round would also be discussed.

“On each of these issues the developing countries, the outreach countries, would have, in fact, quite a great deal to say. The outreach countries have also been meeting amongst themselves and they have harmonised their position on several of these important issues. This will form the input also for the G-8 Summit,” Mr Saran said.

The idea is to have a meeting of the outreach countries tomorrow evening. The next day virtually the entire forenoon, including lunch, would be the Outreach Session where the G-8 Heads of State and Government would have a chance to interact in a very informal, in a very free ranging atmosphere with each other at the Outreach Session.





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