PM arrives home after attending IBSA Summit

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here today after a two-nation, five-day African tour during which he attended the Second India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit.

Dr Singh had paid a three-day visit to Nigeria, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 45 years. He attended the second IBSA summit in Johannesburg in South Africa on October 17.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, was received at the airport by top government officials.

Dr Singh told reporters that his visit to the African countries was very fruitful and his participation in the IBSA summit would help increase South-South cooperation.

The two-day Summit of IBSA, the fledgling tri-nation grouping of the major economies of Asia, Latin America and Africa, provided a framework for mutual cooperation in various fields and a forum for interaction on regional and multilateral issues besides South-South cooperation.

A Joint Declaration was issued at the end of the Summit, which sought to enable the strengthening and deepening of South-South cooperation.

The Prime Minister also held bilateral meetings with South African President Thabo Mbeki and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the summit meeting.

Prior to the IBSA Summit, a series of important activities were held in Johannesburg. These included an Academic Seminar, a Business Seminar, a Women's Forum and a Parliamentary Forum.

The Indian complement at the Business Seminar comprised representatives from FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.

India was represented by MPs Sandeep Dikshit, Jitin Prasad, Harin Pathak and Alok Kumar Mehta at the Parliamentary Forum. In the Women's Forum, Indian delegation was led by the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and included representatives from NGOs such as Guild of Service, Women's Power Connect and a representative of Amul.

UNI

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