Manmohan to meet Bush, push for nuclear deal at G-8 summit

posted under by NSmurthy

It's official. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will push for the Indo-US nuclear deal when he meets US President George Bush and key members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, next week.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Friday said the Prime Minister, apart from meeting President George Bush on July 9, will also hold bilateral meetings with China, Russia, US, Mexico, Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Australia. Meetings with leaders of other countries are also being finalised. "We have been in touch with all the countries and have spoken to the NSG as well. Once we have a decision to approach the IAEA Board of Governors, I will let you know," he said, later asserting,"The US is committed to getting us an exemption under the July 18, 2005 agreement." When asked about US Congressman Gary Ackerman's comments that the deal should be on the table by September for the US Congress to endorse it, Menon replied, "We would like to go ahead with it as soon as we can," although he refused to give a timeframe for concluding the IAEA pact.

India is among the "Outreach Five" (O-5) countries - -including China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa ¿invited to the G-8 Summit, a forum of the world's wealthiest nations.

The 0-5 countries plan to come out with a working document reflecting their shared attitudes and positions on leading global issues like climate change and WTO talks.

At their breakfast meeting on Wednesday morning, the leaders of G-8 and O-5 countries will focus on a mid-term review of decisions taken at the last G-8 summit in the German resort of Heiligendamm.

The joint meeting will also entail discussions on innovation, energy security and efficiency and development and achievement of millennium development goals. It will be followed by a meeting between leaders of 16 countries, also called Meeting of Major Economies (MEM). An informal meeting of BRIC leaders (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is also scheduled.