Menon to leave for Beijing tomorrow to discuss bilateral ties

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will leave for Beijing tomorrow for discussions with Chinese leaders on several important bilateral issues of regional and international interest.

Sources said the Indo-US nuclear deal is also expected to figure during the discussions as China is an important member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

'' Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will be visiting Beijing from September 17-18. During the visit, the Foreign Secretary will have discussions on India-China bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual interest,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

The planned visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China later this year is also expected to figure in the discussions in the talks.

China has expressed willingness to discuss the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal when it comes up at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Commenting on the deal, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman had said last week, '' We have noticed that, at present, there are still some different opinions within the NSG on releasing the restrictions of nuclear export to India. We believe that all countries can carry out cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy under the precondition of abiding by the international obligations. The relevant cooperation should be conducive to maintaining and strengthening the principles and validity of the international non-proliferation mechanism.'' UNI

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