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PM concludes successful visit to St. Petersburg

PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday concluded his three-day visit in St Petersburg on a 'highly successful' note.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 10:13 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday concluded his three-day visit in St Petersburg on a 'highly successful' note with world leaders coming strongly against terrorism and showing 'deep understanding' of India's concerns on energy security.

Officials in St Petersburg said the strong statement by the G-8 leaders as also the four outreach countries on the issue of terrorism and those sponsoring it was a clear endorsement of India's position over Pakistan-backed cross-border terrorism.

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran saw this united stand as a 'major political gain' for India.

During his discussions with President George W Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders, Singh had made a strong pitch for an unambiguous and united stand from the international community on combating terrorism.

Bush strongly condemned the recent blasts in Mumbai and Srinagar and extended complete solidarity of the US with India in dealing with the scourge.

During the meeting, Bush expressed optimism that the Indo-US nuclear deal would go through with the US Congress finalising the requisited legislation in the next few weeks.

Singh conveyed New Delhi's worrying concerns over the proposed American legislation granting waivers for nuclear commerce and sought permanent 'constructive solutions'.

"There are some concerns which worry us and our Parliament," Singh told Bush while ponting out that "we are a democracy and we are accountable to Parliament which zealously keeps a watch on what we do and what we do not do".

During his trip, the Prime Minister had separate meetings with the Russian President, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Japanese Prime Miniser Junichiro Koizumi.

He also joined the first ever trilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Putin during which they expressed their strong interest in the emergence of a multipolar world and multilateralism.

The focus of the discussions was on terrorism, drug trafficking, crime and other challenges confronting these countries, he said.

At the meeting of the five outreach countries comprising India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, global challenges, including terrorism figured prominently.

During the interaction, Singh said while globalisation was an irreversible process, the mechanisms of managing it left a great deal to be desired.

On the issue of energy security, the Prime Minister warned that this could not be built on perpetuation of poverty. There was need for an effective strategy for diversification of energy supplies.