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Mumbai blasts to echo at G8 summit

Manmohan will ask world leaders to draw up cohesive action and a "credible strategy" to fight terror. Lowdown on G8

india Updated: Jul 17, 2006 21:01 IST

With images of horror and anguish from Mumbai blasts weighing heavily, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to ask leaders of the G8 countries to come out with "cohesive" action and a "credible strategy" to effectively combat global terrorism.

Singh, who leaves for St Petersburg on Sunday on a three day visit for the G8 Summit, would also seek to leverage mounting international outrage to compel Pakistan to honour its commitment to end terrorism and violence directed against India.

Leaders from the G-8 countries comprising the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, Italy, France, Russia and Canada have strongly condemned the serial blasts in Mumbai suburban trains that left 200 dead and over 700 injured.

Singh, who visited Mumbai on Friday, has warned that terrorists were trying to spread their tentacles across the country and that terror modules were "instigated, inspired and supported" by elements across the border without which they could not act with such devastating effect.

The Prime Minister will have meetings with US President George W Bush, Russian
President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders on Monday.

India along with China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico have been invited for the summit as outreach countries. This would be the first occasion that Russia would be hosting a G-8 Summit. Congo and Kazakhstan would be participating in their capacity as Chair of the African Union and of the CIS respectively.

During his meeting with Bush, Singh is expected to press for early implementation of the July 18 agreement on civilian nuclear co-operation.

The Singh-Bush interaction will come close on the heels of the US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee giving their nod to the nuclear deal which would pave the way for nuclear supplies to Indian reactors.

India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had last week held "productive" talks on the proposed Safeguards Agreement that is required to be put in place to allow international community to resume nuclear trade with New Delhi.

During the summit, the G-8 leaders are expected to make efforts to break the deadlock over the Doha round of WTO negotiations.

The recent round of negotiations in Geneva ended in a logjam over the issue of industrialised nations cutting domestic subsidy for agriculture and developing nations reducing tariff on industrial goods.

Iran's nuclear programme, education, disease prevention and a massive expansion of nuclear power generation in member-countries are on the agenda of the summit.

An action plan for global energy security, envisaging a network of nuclear power plants in Group countries and sale of reactors to developing countries, is also likely to be drawn up at the summit.

Russia has indicated that among the issues that would be focussed during its presidency would be counter terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Settlement of regional conflicts, development of the global economy, finance and trade as well as protection of environment are also expected to figure during the deliberations.

The summit was preceded by a meeting of G8 Energy ministers who highlighted the importance of international co-operation for the development of low carbon technologies and innovative energy technology solutions with environmental benefits.

Last month, G8 Finance ministers spoke of lack of access to modern energy services being a barrier to economic growth and asked the World Bank to explore the possibility of new instruments to tackle the problem of energy poverty.

Health and Education ministers also met separately in the run up to the summit which is expected to also take up issues relating to world trade, globalisation and global challenges to security.

During Singh's meeting with Putin, the challenge posed by terrorism is expected to come under special focus. Strongly condemning the Mumbai blasts, Putin has called for severe punishment to the perpetrators.

The Prime Minister will also attend the first meeting under the trilateral mechanism with Putin and Hu to discuss the positive the three countries can play to safeguard global peace.

Ahead of the summit, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has advocated that India and the other four outreach countries should be invited into the G8 club to broaden and deepen the grouping.