Singh concludes Japan, China visit

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned here late last night, concluding his five-day tour of Japan and China, where he held a series of meetings with world leaders on global financial crisis and on matters of mutual interests.

Dr Singh left Beijing this afternoon after attending a two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This was the first time that India had participated in the 45-nation grouping at the summit level after it was admitted into its fold last year.

Yesterday, he held bilateral talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Both the leaders agreed that the two countries should cooperate at the level of experts in dealing with trans-border rivers.

''Mr Jintao has very kindly agreed that the expert groups from both sides should meet. Two meetings had been held and the third meeting is planned next year,'' Dr Singh said.

Ministry of External Affairs sources said Dr Singh and Mr Jintao expressed satisfaction at the rapid growth of trade turnover which now exceeded 40 billion dollars. The target for 2010 had been fixed at 60 billion dollars.

India and Japan had entered into a security cooperation agreement during the stay of Dr Singh in Tokyo during October 21-23, though an Economic Partnership Agreement eluded both the countries due to differences in certain areas.

Though Dr Singh had raised the issue of nuclear cooperation, there was not enough response from Japan, which was at the receiving end of atomic attack during the Second World War.

In Beijing, Dr Singh's main engagement was his participation in the ASEM meet which assumed significance in the context of the raging global economic turmoil.

He, however, held a series of bilateral talks, especially with the Heads of State of Mongolia, Italy and Vietnam.

Dr Singh also reviewed the relationship between India and Pakistan when he had a one-on-one meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

UNI SH SBA BST0800

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