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PM set for fresh round of diplomatic parleys

The high point of diplomatic parleys at NAM Summit will be the meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 11:20 IST

After a hectic inaugural IBSA summit in Brasilia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch himself into a fresh round of diplomatic activities at the NAM summit on Friday.

The high point of parleys will be the meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday when India's concerns on cross-border terrorism will figure.

This will be Singh's first interaction with Musharraf after the recent spurt in terrorist attacks in Mumbai and other parts of India that had brought in chill in bilateral relations.

It had resulted in the stalling of the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries. The two had met twice in New York and Delhi in the last two years.

The Prime Minister had already made it clear that he would share New Delhi's concerns on terrorism sponsored from across the border on which Islamabad he said had not done enough to control these elements.

Officials were not willing to discuss the prospects of the meeting between Singh and Musharraf exactly a year after the two interacted on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

They were not willing to hazard any guess on whether a joint statement would be issued after the meeting, as they appeared to be not sure about how the meeting would go.

India's hands on the fight against terrorism got fresh support from South Africa and Brazil as reflected in the Joint Declaration at the trilateral IBSA summit which called upon the international community to bring to justice those who planned and incited terror acts to strike at will in India.

After the IBSA interaction, the Prime Minister will meet a number of world leaders at the NAM summit where India would draw world's attention to the challenge of terrorism faced by India and the need to collectively fight the scourge.

Issues like nuclear disarmament, non-discriminatory approach to use of nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes, the Iran standoff, the stalled Doha round of WTO talks and reforms of the UN Security Council will figure in the NAM summit prominently.

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is expected to attend the inaugural of the NAM summit but it was not clear whether Singh would meet him.

If he does it would be a long time since a major national leader had met Castro, who had attended the NAM summit in 1983 in New Delhi.

He had also built personally warm relations with leaders like the late Indira Gandhi.

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