Lavrov to meet Pranab, Li at trilateral summit in Harbin

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Moscow, Oct 22 (UNI) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said he will meet Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at a trilateral summit in the Chinese city of Harbin, this week.

Lavrov said at a government meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin that he would visit Harbin on Wednesday to meet his Chinese and Indian counterparts, Interfax news agency reported.

It is expected that Lavrov would hold bilateral talks with Mukherjee on the sidelines of the trilateral summit, as he could not meet the External Affairs Minister during his recent visit to Moscow to co-chair the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation, because of his preoccupation with the visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secrertary Robert Gates.

Earlier, Russian first Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov told Itar-Tass news agency that no 'epoch-making' issues will be in the focus of the meeting that the Chinese, Indian and Russian foreign ministers were due to have in Harbin.

''This meeting will be a sort of consultative one,'' Denisov said, adding, ''The mere fact this meeting will be held in a format that has a huge importance.'' ''The ministers are not going to discuss any 'groundbreaking' issues. However, the situation in the world and in the region is multifaceted and the ministers of the three countries have a large number of important topics for examination,'' he stated.

This would be the third stand-alone meeting of the three Foreign Ministers. Earlier the Foreign Ministers of the three countries had met in Russia's Vladivostok city and New Delhi.

At their meeting in New Delhi, in February, the three ministers agreed to cooperate in energy sector and economic development and called for building a multi-polar world involving resolution of all international disputes through the UN and opposed militarisation of outer space.

They also strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, observing that all of them, being neighbours and fast-growing economies, should focus on economic development.

UNI

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