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Manmohan Singh keeps up hectic diplomacy at UN

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

United Nations: Keeping up a hectic round of diplomacy ahead of his address to the United nations Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has met the leaders of Iran, Japan and Sri lanka.

He started Friday with a meeting with the new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, where he noted the intensification of relations with Japan in recent years, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters Friday.

They reviewed their bilateral relations, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, regional affairs in the context of the forth coming East-Asia Summit and the global partnership between India and Japan.

They agreed to continue discussions on nuclear cooperation after noting that all countries are continuing safety reviews.

They also agreed to continue consultations among G-4 nations on reforms in the UN Security Council, where the two
countries are aspirants of permanent membership along with Brazil and Germany.

Then Manmohan Singh met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just a day after the latter had triggered a US-led Western walkout from the UN General Assembly with a combative speech.

“The previously planned meeting basically focused on our bilateral relationship,” when asked if the meeting with Ahmadinejad coupled with Indian support for Palestine – would have an impact on New Delhi’s ties with Washington, Mathai said.

In his meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa the two sides discussed the devolution of powers to the Tamil-dominated northern province. They also agreed that meetings between the fishermen of India and Sri Lanka.

He would also be meeting with the new Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit the newest nation to join the world body after his address to the UN Saturday.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])