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India NSA Menon to visit China

NSA Shivshankar Menon will travel to Beijing on Saturday on a three-day visit, the importance of which is underlined by his being designated as the Prime Minister`s Special Envoy who will discuss key issues.



New Delhi/Beijing: National Security Advisor
Shivshankar Menon will travel to Beijing on Saturday on a
three-day visit, the importance of which is underlined by his
being designated as the Prime Minister`s Special Envoy who
will discuss key issues.

External Affairs Ministry announced Menon`s visit in a
brief statement without giving any indications about his
agenda. But significantly he has been designated as "Special
Envoy to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh" for the visit.

Incidentally, the National Security Advisor`s visit comes
ahead of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari`s trip to that
country during which he is expected to finalise the deal for
supply of two additional nuclear reactors from China to
Pakistan.

Indications are that besides talking about issues such as
boundary and issuing of stapled visa, Menon will also convey
India`s concern over the Chinese supplying two additional nuke
reactors to Pakistan.

During the visit, Menon is expected to touch upon all the
crucial bilateral issues and find out ways to strengthen the
relationship between the two major Asian countries. The aim is
to chalk out the road ahead for the relationship with a view
that no single issue can impact negatively, sources said.

Asked about the issues to be deliberated between the two
sides, sources said as a "Special Envoy", Menon was going with
a wider mandate and all the issues pertaining to the bilateral
relations will be discussed.

According to sources, the dates of Menon`s visit were
finalised at the request of India before Zardari`s visit.

"Indian Prime Minister`s envoy Menon will pay a visit
from July 3 to 6," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang
told a news briefing in Beijing.

He said the two sides will exchange views on bilateral
relations and international and regional issues of common
interest.

The details of his programme would be announced later,
Qin said.

-PTI

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