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Mukherjee arrives in China for third trilateral meet

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrives in Harbin for the third stand-alone meeting of the foreign ministers of India-Russia-China.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Harbin(china)
UPDATED ON OCT 24, 2007 08:21 AM IST

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Harbin early on Wednesday for the third stand-alone meeting of the foreign ministers of India-Russia-China scheduled for this afternoon.

Mukherjee, accompanied by senior officials arrived in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang province by a special plane this morning.

He will hold talks with his Chinese and Russian counterparts, Yang Jiechi and Sergei Lavrov respectively.

Prior to the meeting, Yang would host a luncheon and the three Foreign Ministers are to attend a banquet hosted by the Communist Party Secretary of Heilongjiang Province, Qian Yunlu on Wednesday evening.

The three Foreign Ministers are expected to discuss regional and international issues and expansion of trilateral cooperation, official sources said.

While Mukherjee is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Yang on Thursday, it is not clear if he would meet Lavrov.

This will be the third stand-alone trilateral Foreign Ministers' meeting after the last one in New Delhi in February 2007 and the first one in Vladivostok in June 2005.

The first Summit Meeting among the leaders of India, Russia and China took place on July 17, 2006 in St Petersburg on the sidelines of the meetings among G-8 and outreach countries.

The ongoing visit to China by Mukherjee is his first as External Affairs Minister. He had visited China in May last year as Defence Minister.

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