Manmohan arrives home after two-nation tour

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here on Saturday after his two-nation tour of the US and Brazil during, which he attended the Nuclear Security Summit and IBSA and BRIC meets, besides holding talks with President Barack Obama and other world leaders.

With ash cloud from Iceland’s erupting volcano creating havoc for flights in northern Europe, Mr. Singh’s special aircraft took a detour on way back from Brasilia and had a stopover in Johannesburg in South Africa, instead of Frankfurt.

During his first leg of the eight-day tour, the Prime Minister was in the US where he attended the Nuclear Security Summit and met Obama and asked him to press Pakistan to rein in LeT and other terror outfits targeting India.

Dr. Singh, who held a 50-minute meeting with Obama on Sunday last, emphasised that Pakistan needed to take “convincing action” against those responsible for Mumbai attacks.

He also secured an assurance from Obama for India to get access to Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to plotting Mumbai attacks.

At the Summit, Singh warned of dangers posed by nuclear explosives falling into the hands of non-state actors.

With Pakistan obviously on his mind, he pitched for “zero tolerance” against individuals and groups, which engage in illegal trafficking of atomic explosives and announced at the summit India’s decision to set up a ‘Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership’

After his four-day US visit, Singh visited Brasilia to attend the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) Summits.

Besides attending IBSA and BRIC summits, he held bilateral meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev and discussed various issues with them.

At the IBSA Summit, Mr. Singh pitched for greater focus on investments in infrastructure and inclusive growth.

He also said the grouping of leading developing economies must speak against the protectionist policies “which are only short-sighted and self-defeating in the long run“.

At the BRIC meet, Singh sought close cooperation among the four countries in the fields of energy and food security besides tapping potential in other sectors like trade and investment, science and technology and infrastructure.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 10:35:52 PM |

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