PM leaves for Frankfurt en route to India

New York: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left here on Monday for Frankfurt on his way back home after concluding a five-day visit during which he attended the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly.

Singh will have a technical overnight halt in Frankfurt before leaving for home tomorrow.

A cake may be cut mid-air to celebrate his 79th birthday today on the New York-Frankfurt leg.

In his address to the General Assembly on Saturday, Singh made a powerful call for early reform and expansion of the UN Security Council "to reflect contemporary reality" and asked nations not to allow the global economic slowdown to trigger protectionism through various barriers.

On terrorism, he had said there cannot be "selective approaches" in dealing with the scourge that needed to be fought across all fronts.

He had also expressed India's "steadfast" support for Palestinians' struggle for a sovereign, independent and united state, saying that New Delhi looked forward to welcoming Palestine as an "equal" member of the United Nations.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, the Prime Minister held talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He had also met the newly elected Prime Ministers of Japan and Nepal -- Yoshihiko Noda and Baburam Bhattarai respectively.

The Prime Minister had attended the UNGA after a gap of two years.