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India to seek support from Brazil, S Africa

india Updated: Oct 14, 2008 21:45 IST

IANS
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Armed with an NSG waiver, India will seek civil nuclear cooperation with Brazil and South Africa at the third IBSA summit Wednesday that will focus on improving connectivity and enhancing cooperation across a wide spectrum of areas, including food and energy security.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and South African President Kgalema Motlanthe at the day-long summit that brings together economic powerhouses from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Enhancing connectivity among the three countries separated by vast distances will figure prominently in discussions.

Briefing reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday, Nalin Surie, secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, said the three IBSA countries were hopeful that their three capitals would be air-linked by the end of the year or the next year.

The Civil Aviation Act would have to be amended for the purpose, he said.

A 'Delhi Summit declaration' will also be adopted at the end of the summit. The three countries are also expected to sign seven MoUs, agreements or action plans, Surie said.

Asked if there was any possibility of nuclear energy cooperation among the three countries, he said the opportunities were plenty and there was a possibility of discussing the issue in coming days. India will take the issue of uranium sale with South Africa when the leaders of the two countries hold bilateral talks after the summit.

South Africa and Brazil had supported India's quest for civilian nuclear energy at the second IBSA summit in Johannesburg.

Indian, Brazil and South Africa could also cooperate in the area of defence production since all the three have robust defence industries.

The Delhi summit will complete the first cycle of IBSA's annual summits. The second cycle will begin with the fourth summit in Brazil next year.