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Text of PM's departure speech

india Updated: Sep 10, 2006 17:52 IST
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Following is the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in New Delhi on Sunday, just before leaving for a nine-day visit to Brazil and Cuba:

"I will be visiting Brasilia at the invitation of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The bilateral visit to Brazil on Sep 12 will be followed by the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit where President Mbeki of South Africa will also be participating.

I expect that my visit to Brazil will consolidate an extremely positive trend in our bilateral relations with that great country which we consider as one of our main partners in Latin America. I hope to discuss a wide range of issues including adding content to our political and economic interactions and cooperation in defence, agriculture and energy security. Brazil and India already enjoy an excellent tradition of cooperation in the international fora.

IBSA has already emerged as a shining example of South-South Cooperation. The first IBSA Summit will provide a useful opportunity to review the progress that has been made over the last three years since IBSA was first established. Our discussions are expected to focus on issues of global concern including energy security, international terrorism and the challenges of sustainable and equitable development. An IBSA Business Summit will add a new dimension to our interactions.

We have enjoyed close, friendly and historic relations with Cuba. I am looking forward to participating in the 14th NAM Summit Conference being held in Havana. As a founding member of this great Movement, India will play its part in helping NAM to revitalize itself so as to pursue the shared interests of its member states in a transformed world.

Mutual support and solidarity among NAM members is of prime importance as we confront several common challenges such as making globalization more inclusive, the scourge of terrorism and addressing widespread hunger, poverty and disease. We will rededicate the Non-Aligned Movement to the universal causes of peace, disarmament and the progress and prosperity of all human kind.

During my stay in Havana, I look forward to fruitful interactions with a number of leaders from the developing world."

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