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PM to consolidate ties with Brazil, revive NAM

This is the first visit by an Indian prime minister to South America's largest nation, Brazil in 38 years.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2006 17:59 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left New Delhi on Sunday for Frankfurt en route to Brazil and Cuba hoping to consolidate bilateral relations with Brasilia and to revitalise the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The prime minister is to attend the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit in Brasilia and hold talks with leaders of the two countries on bilateral issues as well before proceeding to Havana for the NAM meeting of heads of state.

"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," he told reporters in New Delhi before leaving.

"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," he said.

This is the first visit by an Indian prime minister to South America's largest nation in 38 years.

Joining him in Brazil will be Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma who have travelled ahead of the delegation.

Foreign Secretary-designate Shiv Shankar Menon will join him in Havana in time for Manmohan Singh's meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of NAM summit.

The three-nation IBSA summit takes place on Wednesday. He returns to the capital on September 18.

"Our discussions are expected to focus on issues of global concern including energy security, international terrorism and the challenges of sustainable and equitable development," said the prime minister, referring to Brazil and South Africa. "An IBSA Business Summit will add a new dimension to our interactions."

On NAM, he said that "as a founding member of this great movement", India would play its part in helping the grouping 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 globalisation more inclusive, the scourge of terrorism and addressing widespread hunger, poverty and disease."

"We will rededicate NAM to the universal causes of peace, disarmament and the progress and prosperity of all human kind."

First Published: Sep 10, 2006 17:33 IST