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Manmohan Singh back after Brazil, Cuba visit

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 00:20 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned home on Monday night after a nine-day visit to Brazil and Cuba during which he had a crucial meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that led to the resumption of the stalled peace process between India and Pakistan.

The visit also saw India calling for revitalising and recasting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as a vehicle for promoting a "confluence of civilisations" and Brazil and South Africa - influential members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group - supporting India's quest for civil nuclear energy.

The prime minister, who first visited Brazil for bilateral talks as also to take part in the first trilateral summit among the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa, ended his engagement with a meeting with the ailing Cuban President Fidel Castro in Havana.

Clearly, the high point of Manmohan Singh's visit was his talks with Musharraf on the margins of the 14th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Havana, during which they decided to resume the composite dialogue process between the two countries - on hold since the July 11 Mumbai blasts.

During their meeting, the two leaders condemned all acts of terror and decided to put in place a path-breaking bilateral anti-terrorism institutional mechanism "to identify and implement counter-terrorism initiatives and investigations."

"The mechanism we put it place must be credible, must inspire confidence in both our countries and we will have to look at the mechanics with due care," Manmohan Singh told the accompanying media on his way back to India - during which he had an overnight stopover in Frankfurt.

In Havana, Manmohan Singh said the NAM must reject extremes and become the voice of "moderation, harmony and reason" while dealing with pressing trans-national issues like terrorism, pandemics, energy security and environment.