Ansari leaves for two-day visit to Belgium for ASEM meet | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ansari leaves for two-day visit to Belgium for ASEM meet

delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2010 13:23 IST

Vice President Hamid Ansari on Sunday left for a two-day visit to Belgium for the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting where representatives of 48 countries spanning the two continents will deliberate on various issues, including financial governance and safety of sea lanes.

Ansari is being accompanied by his wife Salma and senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Vice President will address the first plenary session tomorrow when he is expected to highlight issues related to effective financial and economic governance.

The leaders from the two continents will also review the progress on the declaration on sustainable development that was issued during the previous ASEM meeting held in Beijing in October 2008.

"In the third session they wish to concentrate on a number of global issues which will include the fight against terrorism and organised crime, elimination of acts of piracy at sea, reversal of the proliferation of WMD and delivery system," Latha Reddy, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs had said on Friday while briefing on the visit.

On the sidelines, Ansari will meet European Council President Herman Von Rompuy and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.

On what would be India's reaction if Islamabad raised the Kashmir issue in the ASEM forum, Reddy had said, "we will cross the bridge when we come to it".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had attended the ASEM summit in Beijing two years back.

Ansari is representing India at the summit as the Prime Minister has obligations in connection with the Commonwealth Games that begin today.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also attend the summit but no bilateral meeting has been planned.