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On the bilateral meetings of External affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in New York


New York
September 26, 2007

On Wednesday, September 26, the External Affairs Minister met the Foreign Minister of Brazil, HE Mr. Celso Amorim; the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, H.E Ms. Tzipi Livni; the High Representative of the European Union for the Common Security and Foreign Policy, H.E Mr. Javier Solana; Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, H.E Dr Condoleezza Rice Separately, EAM participated in a Ministerial Meeting of the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) initiative. He also Chaired an informal Ministerial meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

In the IBSA meeting, EAM and his counterparts, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil and Foreign Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa exchanged views on topics of mutual interest relating to the IBSA Dialogue Forum and the IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger. The Ministers also underlined their determination to strengthen political aspects of IBSA’s work, including by focusing on reform of the United Nations, in particular the UN Security Council, calling for an immediate, elements-based, result-oriented intergovernmental negotiation to commence for expansion of the UN Security Council. The meeting also discussed preparations for the second IBSA Summit in South Africa in October 2007.

At the SAARC Meeting, the participants heard a report of the work of SAARC since the last Summit in New Delhi in April 2007 from the Secretary-General of SAARC. Members the eight-nation group discussed the need to expand cooperation in the SAARC framework, taking into account the concrete projects set by previous Summits and reviewing progress achieved thus far. Following the informal meeting, EAM hosted an iftar reception for participating SAARC delegations.

Earlier in the day, EAM had a series of bilateral meetings. The meeting with the Foreign Minister of Brazil was held in a warm atmosphere. Bilateral cooperation was reviewed, as well as the prospects for expanded cooperation, including in the defence sector, in alternative sources of energy, in economic and trade relations, in cultural exchanges, and also through further coordination in multilateral fora, in context of the similarity of positions and concerns of the two countries. At the meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, the two leaders reviewed the cordial bilateral relationship, reviewing existing cooperation, and examining areas for further cooperation, such as high-technology. The leaders also had a cordial and frank discussion regarding the situation in the Middle East region.

During the meeting with the Secretary-General of NATO, there was a discussion on the international security situation, with particular reference to the situation in Afghanistan. The two leaders emphasized the importance of continued international cooperation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. During EAM’s meeting with the EU High Representative, Javier Solana, the two leaders reviewed preparations for the forthcoming annual India-EU Summit, in the overall context of further expansion of the rapidly-developing relationship, with particular emphasis on trade and economic aspects of India-EU relations. In the afternoon, at the meeting between EAM and the US Secretary of State, the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations across the gamut of items of cooperation. They also considered the international situation, and exchanged views on issues of concern.

Later in the evening, EAM left for Washington DC to lead the Indian delegation to the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, being convened by the Department of State of the United States of America.
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