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Sinha to meet Powell in Moscow on May 14

May 12, 2003 20:15 IST

External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha will meet his American counterpart Colin Powell in Moscow on May 14 during which peace moves between India and Pakistan are expected to come under special focus.

Sinha's meeting with Powell comes close on the heels of the just-concluded visit to India and Pakistan by American Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Both Sinha and Powell are undertaking bilateral visits to Russia.

Sinha will meet Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Alyoshin, Finance Minister Alexie Kudrin and his counterpart Igor Ivanoc.

During his six-day visit, Sinha will co-chair the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation along with Russian Industry and Science and Technology Minister Ilya Klebanov.

At the two-day IRIGC meeting from May 15, both sides will look into the ways and means of increasing Indo-Russian trade and economic cooperation, an Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said.

The IRIGC has been playing an important role in the strengthening of bilateral relations between India and Russia. Twelve working groups covering different spheres have been established within the framework of the commission, which has held eight sessions so far.

These include trade and economic cooperation, power and non-conventional sources of energy, petroleum, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, science and technology, culture, coal, information technology, environment and natural resources, cooperation in civil aviation and pharmaceuticals.

There are also 11 sub-groups under the various working groups dealing with specific areas like transport, banking and finance, commercialisation and transfer of technology, meteorology, oceanology, biotechnology and seismology.

From Russia, Sinha will fly to London to attend a meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in London on May 19 during which Pakistan's re-entry into the Commonwealth is expected to be taken up.

Asked about India's stand on Pakistan's re-admittance, the MEA spokesman said, "It is a multilateral decision. You cannot pre-judge multilateral decisions. We will wait to see what view the CMAG, as a collective forum, takes on the issue."

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