IBSA Summit begins amid concern at global economic crisis

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) Heads of State/Government of three vibrant economies from different continents began discussions here today in the backdrop of the global financial crisis on how to meet challenges of rising energy and food prices and the current economic meltdown.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, who are meeting for the third India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit, began discussions on devising strategies to meet the current challenges facing the world, while stressing on ensuring equitable global growth and international stability.

About seven agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), including on cooperation in tourism and civil aviation, are likely to be signed between India, Brazil and South Africa after the conclusion of the Summit.

There is also a very good opportunity for the three countries to discuss civil nuclear cooperation, a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said.

The IBSA Forum will also discuss the issues of climate change.

Sixteen Working Groups had been meeting since September and their scope reflected the wide-ranging areas of cooperation heing covered by the IBSA Forum.

Meetings had also been held of the IBSA Academic, Business, Editors and Women's Fora which represent outreach activity.

A Delhi Summit Declaration will be issued after the Summit.

''The Summit will also provide an opportunity to the leaders to exchange views on regional and international issues,'' the official said.

After the Summit, the Presidents of Brazil and South Africa will call on President Pratibha Patil.

The Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Brazil and South Africa.

''The Delhi Summit will complete the first cycle of IBSA's annual Summits. The second cycle will begin with the Fourth Summit in Brazil next year. The IBSA Dialogue Forum is developing well and gaining salience. It is our intention to further strengthen this unique Forum of three very large developing country democracies from three different continents,'' the official added.

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