New York, Sept.26 : Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today met his British counterpart Gordon Brown here, a day after a significant meeting with US President George W Bush in Washington.
The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, exchanged pleasantries and discussed issues of bilateral, regional and international importance to both countries.
Briefing reporters here after the nearly 30-minute meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Alhuwalia, said both leaders also discussed the current economic crisis being faced by the United States and expressed concern about its global impact in the short and long terms.
According to Singh, the two leaders were in agreement that fora like the Group of Eight and the Group of Twenty were ideal platforms to discuss issues of such import, but added that they could be more expansionist in their composition and reach.
Alhuwalia said: "Methods of resolving the problem have to beyond consultations in the G-8, and he (Brown) asked the Prime Minister (Dr. Singh) 'do you agree with that,' and ofcourse the Prime Minister said: ' I agree entirely, it must include more countries in the G-8'. Then he (Brown) said that well may be G-20, which is forum , where India is represented, China is represented, Brazil is represented...you know there are lot of other countries. May be that's one forum...then they left at that. And what our Prime Minister said is that we will be happy to work with the British in explring any concrete ideas that they may have."
Alhuwalia also said that both Brown and Dr. Singh agreed that steps needed to be taken to counter the menace of terrorism through appropriate and applicable tools.
"I think it was a shared perception. it is necessary to bring...the spread of terorist influence, a lot of it, which seems to be coming out of Pakistan under some control. ...And beyond that both agreed that this is necessary but I dont think any assurances were made or given," said Alhuwalia.
Singh will be meeting several other leaders, address and interact with the Indian community here and address the U.N.General Assembly before emplaning for for France on Saturday to attend the Ninth India-European Summit in Marseilles on September 29.
He will also have a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and there is a possibility that the two countries might agree to commence civilian nuclear trade in the wake of India receiving a waiver from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG). By Naveen Kapoor