Singh-Wen meet: Key concerns discussed, but no breakthrough
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 18:29
New Delhi: Talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to yield any breakthrough on Thursday on India's key concerns - stapled visa to people of Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism emanating from Pakistan - and in getting support for its bid for a UNSC permanent seat.

Wen, who is on a fence-mending mission after one year of unease in bilateral ties, held talks with Singh for over one hour during which bilateral, regional and global issues were discussed.

Though the issue of stapled visa did not figure in the joint communiqué, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters after the talks that the Chinese Premier himself raised the issue and suggested that officials from both the countries should have in-depth consultations to resolve the issue.

"Wen said China takes this issue very seriously and takes our concern on this issue very seriously," Rao said but noted that "The ball is in their court. There is no doubt about that." China had also denied visa to Lt Gen BS Jaswal, who is in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir prompting India to suspend all defence exchanges with that country.

The Joint statement also did not make a reference to 26/11 and India's demand for expediting punishment to all those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks.

However, it talked about the need to implement all relevant UN resolutions, in particular UNSC resolution 1267, 1373, 1540 and 1624 dealing with among others curbing financing of terrorism and banning of terror groups.

Rao said India conveyed its concern over terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The need is very much there for China to also look at the real concerns India has with regard to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, she said, adding that the terrorism in the region also affects China.

China also conveyed its understanding of the situation in Pakistan, Rao said, but refused to elaborate.

The joint statement said the two sides also welcomed the opening of the telephone hotline between Singh and Wen and agreed on regular consultations between the two leaders on issues of importance to both the countries.

The two leaders also agreed to establish the mechanism of annual exchange of visits between the two Foreign Ministers, it said.

On economic front, Rao said while both countries have set a target of USD 100 billion by 2015, India has raised its concern over the growing trade imbalance and has sought greater access for its goods, including pharmaceuticals in Chinese market.

"The two sides agreed to take measures to promote greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India's trade deficit," the statement said.

Beijing gave no concrete endorsement on India's bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council and merely confined itself to vague formulation that it supports India's aspirations to play a greater role in the global body.


First Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 18:29

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