Manmohan Singh leaves for London to attend G-20 summit

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New Delhi, Mar. 31 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday left for London to attend G-20 summit.

In his departure statement, Dr. Singh said that he is looking forward to his meetings with both US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the sidelines of this week's Second G-20 summit in London.

"Besides a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is the host of the meeting, I also look forward to my meeting with US President Barack Obama.

This will be our first meeting and will be an opportunity for us to review our bilateral relations, as well as hold discussions on important regional and global issues such as terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, energy security and climate change," he said.

Dr. Singh also said that he would discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan on the sidelines of the meeting.

London is spending 19 million pounds in hosting the high profile G-20 summit that will see the participation of 22 nations. In wake of threats from Islamic terrorists, 84,000 police hours have been hired under 7.5 million security arrangements.

The event, whose participants represent 90 percent of world's GDP, will be covered by 2,500 journalists.

During his visit from March 31 to April 3, Dr. Singh will seek to address the effects of the global slowdown, which has lowered the high growth rate that India had achieved in past.

"India has benefited from growing global interdependence as manifested in the high growth rate that we have achieved over the last five years. We would like to ensure that our economy continues to expand at a healthy rate," Dr. Singh said in the statement.

"The G-20 has an important role to play in addressing the global economic and financial slowdown by taking coordinated and purposeful action. It is important and necessary for the Summit to take credible decisions which will help to halt and reverse the current slowdown and to instill a sense of confidence in the global economy," he added.

The Summit, the second since the global financial crisis started in the middle of last year, will be attended among others by US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordan Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Hu Jintao. (ANI)

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