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PM arrives in S Africa to attend IBSA Summit

Pretoria: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today arrived here on a three-day visit to attend the trilateral India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit during which he is expected to focus on global issues like the difficult economic scenario and UN reforms.

During his visit, Singh will also have bilateral meetings with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma and discuss ways to enhance cooperation bilaterally in trade, energy and various other areas.

In his pre-departure statement in New Delhi, Singh said he looked 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". The three leaders will discuss possible steps that need to be taken to address the economic situation, which has become difficult in view of the crisis in Europe, officials said. The fifth IBSA summit of the three emerging nations of three different continents will take place tomorrow.

Singh said the Summit is also expected to focus 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.

"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," the Prime Minister said.

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