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PM to visit Korea for n-summit on March 24

PM Manmohan Singh will fly to South Korea for a bilateral visit and to take part in the second Nuclear Security Summit on Saturday

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 22, 2012 1:34 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will fly to South Korea for a bilateral visit and to take part in the second Nuclear Security Summit on Saturday.

The nuclear security summit is aimed at taking forward the efforts to evolve a global consensus on ways to combat nuclear terrorism and prevent nuclear installations and materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

“While nuclear security is a national responsibility,there is scope for international cooperation,” Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said,briefing reporters on Singh’s four-day trip to Seoul,the first by an Indian prime minister since P V Narasimha Rao in 1993.

Singh will be joined by heads of state of more than 55 countries at the summit. The first edition of the summit was held in Washington in 2010 and saw 47 countries participating.

Mathai said,as of now,no bilateral talks,either with Pakistan or the United States,were scheduled on the sidelines of the summit.

On whether Iran’s nuclear programme would come up for discussion at the summit,he said: “The focus of the summit is nuclear security and measures to prevent terrorists or terrorist organisations from gaining access to nuclear resources. Countries will make their individual statements and we are not in a position to anticipate what issues might be raised.”

Before the summit,the Prime Minister will meet South Korean leaders.

“The Prime Minister’s visit aims to give depth and greater meaning to our Strategic Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement,strengthen people-to-people contacts,strengthen cooperation in the field of science and technology,and also coordinate our thinking in matters relating to regional security and international events,” Mathai said.

A bilateral agreement on simplification of visa rules will also be signed.

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