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Energy to top PM's agenda at G8

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy is also scheduled to attend the G8 Summit as an invitee.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2006 15:53 IST

Against the backdrop of Tuesday's terror strikes in two Indian cities, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will tell the G8 leaders at St Petersburg that the war on global terror can be won only when all its sources and sanctuaries are identified and made ineffective.

Without referring to Pakistan, Manmohan Singh - who is going there for only a day Monday as a special invitee to the summit of leaders of industrialised nations - is bound to raise the issue of cross-border terror that India is subjected to time and again and the need for the international community to step in strongly.

A year after the historic civil nuclear deal with the US was agreed upon, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush will get a chance to review its progress on the margins of the G8 summit in St Petersburg July 15-17, officials sources here said.

Manmohan Singh is also expected to vociferously raise the issue of terrorism and energy cooperation not just at the main summit but also at the first trilateral meeting with Russia and China to deepen cooperation that was proposed by Moscow, officials added.

Besides the Indian Prime Minister - who leaves for the picturesque Russian city Sunday - the trilateral meeting will be attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Global energy security - this year's summit theme - will also figure prominently at Prime Minister's talks with the leadership of several of the G8 members that includes the US, Russia, Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

"The main session is on Monday, when the G8 leaders and invitees like India will discuss global energy security - issues such as the role of nuclear energy and cross-border oil and gas pipelines," a senior Indian official said.

"The two-hour meeting will be followed by a working lunch where the discussions will continue on these issues. But prior to that, the special invitees to the summit will hold informal discussions Sunday evening."

Besides India, the invitees to the St Petersburg Summit are China, Kazakhstan, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Congo, besides officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), officials added.

Another important engagement on the margins of the summit will be a meeting of what has been called the "Strategic Outreach Partners" of the G8 Summit, which includes South Africa, India, Brazil, Mexico and China.

This outreach meeting Monday evening - where South-South cooperation is also a topic of discussion - would also be attended by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and invitees from the IAEA, the World Bank and World Health Organization, officials added.

On the bilateral front, an important meeting lined up for Manmnohan Singh is one with President Bush to mainly take stock of the civilian nuclear deal between the two countries on July 18 last year.

The talks will be held in the backdrop of the US House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee giving their consent to the proposal for nuclear supplies to Indian reactors.

"With the global trade talks deadlocked over the refusal of developed nations to relent any further on farm subsidies, the two leaders are also likely to discuss ways to put the negotiations back on track," an official said.

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy is also scheduled to attend the G8 Summit as an invitee, and has sought time for talks with key leaders, including the US, European Union, India and Brazil to push the Doha round forward, officials added.