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Rediff.com  » News » PM to leave for South Africa on Monday for IBSA Summit

PM to leave for South Africa on Monday for IBSA Summit

October 16, 2011 18:12 IST

In the backdrop of the global economy being buffeted by a series of ill winds that have put a question mark over the profligacy of European nations and brought to the fore the resultant debt crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave for Pretoria, South Africa, on Monday to attend the fifth trilateral India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit.

The IBSA Summit, likely to be dominated with economic and security issues, is being hosted by South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on 18 October 2011.

During his 3-day visit, Prime Minister Singh will hold bilateral meetings with President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to exchange views on global, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest.

In a statement issued before his departure for South Africa, the prime minister said that the Summit is expected to focus, among other things, on coordination among IBSA countries in United Nations Security Council, sustainable development, the forthcoming meetings of the Conference of Parties under the UNFCCC and the Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol being hosted by South Africa later this year, the Rio+20 Conference being hosted by Brazil in 2012 and other matters related to deepening of cooperation under IBSA.  

The IBSA Dialogue Forum has matured considerably over the years leading to greater cooperation across a wider canvas.

Above all, the idea of three large developing democracies -- Brazil, India and South Africa -- working together in a highly complex global environment has taken root, and has received universal welcome by our peoples, the prime minister's statement said.

The three leaders will discuss possible steps that need to be taken to address the economic situation, which has become difficult in view of crisis in Europe.

The prime minister's statement added: 'It is a happy coincidence that during 2011 India, Brazil and South Africa are members of the United Nations Security Council. We have shown significant cohesiveness and coordination in our approach to issues under discussion in the Security Council.'

"I also look forward to an exchange of views with our IBSA partners on the current global economic and financial situation especially in the context of the forthcoming G-20 Summit in France. We expect to issue an IBSA Joint Declaration at the Summit," the prime minister said.

The discussion on the global financial situation and coordination of views would be significant as all the three leaders would be attending the G-20 meet in Cannes early next month.

Issues related to international security like terrorism and maritime safety are also expected to be discussed.

The three countries, all non-permanent members of the Security Council, have demonstrated coordinated actions in the recent past on Syria. In the backdrop of representatives of India, Brazil and South Africa visiting Syria, the leaders of the three countries are expected to take their discussions forward on the issue.

India has been maintaining that the relevance of the IBSA will remain as it brings together three large democracies of three continents and is not undermined by the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS).
A Correspondent in New Delhi