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Rediff.com  » News » PM arrives in Russia to attend SCO, BRIC meet

PM arrives in Russia to attend SCO, BRIC meet

June 16, 2009 00:23 IST
Declaring India's readiness to contribute to global efforts to overcome the economic crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Yekaterinburg on Monday night to attend the Summits of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Brazil-Russia-India-China.

"India is among the fastest growing BRIC economies, and we are ready to play our part in coordinating international efforts to overcome the ongoing financial and economic slowdown," Singh said in a statement before leaving Delhi earlier in the day.

Noting that BRIC grouping has the potential to lead global economic growth, he said, "In fact, global economic recovery is closely linked to the success of BRIC economies."

He said BRIC countries also have a role to play in promoting the principle of multilateralism in international affairs and in the reform of institutions of global governance, including the United Nations, to reflect the contemporary realities.

"From these points of view, the convening of the first stand-along Summit of BRIC countries is a significant development," Singh said.

Talking about the SCO Summit which an Indian Prime Minister would attend for the first time, Singh said, "My decision to attend the Summit is a reflection of the high regard we have for Russia's Presidency of the SCO."

India is an Observer at the SCO which comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Singh has decided to attend since the format of the SCO has lately been changed to allow Observers to speak at the forum.

India has particular interest in actively associating with SCO in the context of security of the region. SCO has been keen to involve India in the anti-terror mechanism and in-principle New Delhi has agreed but is awaiting the modalities and format that are being worked out.

New Delhi notes that it is already engaged anti-terror issues bilaterally with SCO member countries, like Russia and China and joining at multilateral level should not be an issue.

 Singh said the decision to attend the SCO Summit also reflected India's desire to "intensify our engagement with countries of our extended neighbourhood in Central Asia.

The Prime Minister said during his visit, which was at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he would look forward to meet and exchange views with world leaders present in Yekaterinburg.

On the BRIC Summit, he said the four countries together account for 40 per cent of the world population and 40 per cent of the global GDP.

"The BRIC countries have a role to play in promoting the principle of multilateralism in international affairs, and in the reform of the institutions of global governance, including the United Nations, to reflect contemporary realities," he added.

Ajay Kaul in Yekaterinburg
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