Manmohan Singh returns home from NAM Summit

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New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, arrived here early on Friday after attending the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt.

A significant aspect of the visit was his nearly three hour meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the summit.

According to the joint communiqué issued after the meeting, Dr. Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, while Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan would do everything in its power in this regard.

Gilani said that Pakistan has provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks and had sought additional information/evidence.

Prime Minister Singh said that the dossier is being reviewed.

It was agreed that the two countries would de-link terror from the composite dialogue process and that India would look into reports of it having a hand in fomenting trouble in Baluchistan. No mention was made of Kashmir.

According to the joint communiqué, it was a cordial and constructive meeting that considered the entire gamut of bilateral relations with a view to charting the way forward in India-Pakistan relations.

During his addressing at the summit, Dr. Singh, without directly naming or targeting Pakistan, said that no nation should provide a safe haven to terrorists.

"Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice. The infrastructure of terrorism must be dismantled and there should be no safe havens for terrorists because they do not represent any cause, group or religion. It is time we agree on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism," he said.

Speaking about climate change, Dr. Singh said: "We are already making our own significant contributions in this regard, but climate change action must not perpetuate the poverty of developing countries."

Dwelling on other issues, Dr. Singh called on multilateral institutions like the UN to include developing countries as members.

In the final document adopted at the end of the summit, the 118 NAM countries made clear their unanimous positions on some hot-spot issues, including appealing for ending economic embargo against Cuba, stopping Israeli settlement activities on Palestinian territories and immediate restoration of the ousted Honduran president.

During the two-day summit, the grouping of pan-developing countries called for closer solidarity among member states to address global threats and challenges and promote world peace and development.

Some NAM member states appealed for the construction of a new international political, economic and trade system, which is more balanced and equitable.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the summit, "It is abundantly clear that no country-regardless of size or resources-can solve problems alone. That raises the stakes and the space for the Non-Aligned Movement to shape a better world.

"The Non-Aligned Movement can impose some kind of international balance and reactivate the role of the movement on the international level," said Saeed el-Mashat, director of the Center for Political Research at faculty of political and economic sciences in Cairo University.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said NAM could be a possible mechanism to improve Egyptian-Iranian relations, which are lukewarm as Egypt opposes what it considers Iran's interference in the Arab affairs.

It was also decided that Iran would host the XVIth NAM Summit in 2012. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Motaki thanked Egypt for suggesting Iran as the venue of the next summit.

Although the NAM groups 118 countries, representing nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members, and comprises 55 percent of the world population, the total amount of NAM members' gross domestic product (GDP) is still comparatively small. (ANI)

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