New Delhi, Sept19: Terrorism will be high on the
agenda of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in meetings with world
leaders including US President George W Bush and in his
address at the UN General Assembly when he leaves on a
nine-day visit to the US and France next Monday.
Singh travels to Washington from New York on September
25 on a working visit for parleys with Bush at the White House
amid uncertainty whether the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal
conceived by the two leaders in 2005 will be cleared by the US
Congress by then. He will be in the US capital just a day
ahead of the Congress winding up its session.
Briefing newsmen on Singh's visit, Foreign Secretary
Shivshankar Menon said today the Prime Minister is expected to
focus on issues relating to combating terrorism, promoting a
verifiable and comprehensive disarmament, global economy and
expansion of the UN Security Council. Singh will address the
UN on Sept.26.
Menon said the Prime Minister is due to have bilateral
meetings with the new Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the 63rd
session of the UN General Assembly. The exact dates are being
worked out through diplomatic channels.
At his first meeting with Zardari, Singh is expected to
push for an atmosphere free of violence and convey India's
strong concerns on cross-border terrorism. There will also be
an economic dimension to this bilateral meeeting with
proposals regarding cross-border trade coming up on the table.
"We will have to deal with basic questions coming in the
way of normalisation of (Indo-Pak) relations," Menon said in
the backddrop of incidents like ceasefire violations by
Pakistani troops and rising terror attacks recently.