Prime Minister Manmohan Singh takes off for Copenhagen (Lead:PM)

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has finally left for Copenhagen on a two-day visit from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport for the Heads of States meet on climate change, after a delay of about three hours.

Dr. Singh, along with his team of delegates, took off on a special aircraft named "Khajuraho" at 5.40 p.m. from here. His flight was scheduled to take-off at 2.40 p.m. but it was delayed due to a technical snag and the stand-by aircraft Khajuraho had to be put onto service.

According to reports, the aircraft was hit by a trolley, which was loading food items into it.

Addressing the media at the technical area from where the aircraft was supposed to take off, Praful Patel said: "The aircraft was slightly damaged by a loader that required the aircraft to be withdrawn, and get in a stand-by aircraft immediately."

In Copenhagen, Dr. Singh is expected to push for a balanced and equitable outcome.

Dr. Singh is expected to make an intervention at the plenary of the 15th Conference of Parties on Friday which would be addressed by Denmark Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.

Dr. Singh is accompanied by his Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

World leaders, including US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, will also be at the plenary where they would try to reach a political agreement to tackle global warming.

The fate of the climate change talks hung in a balance, as differences persisted between rich and developing nations over taking legally binding carbon emission cuts.

While the industrialised nations want key developing countries like China and India to agree to emission cuts, the emerging economies are citing historical responsibility and insisting that the rich nations should take lead, as it was they who had created the problem.

On Wednesday, Nirupama Rao has said that India would take all measures and steps necessary to prevent the developed nations from imposing a political commitment on carbon emission cuts on developing countries that was at variance to what has been agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Bali Action Plan (BAP).

Briefing media here ahead of Dr. Singh's visit, Rao said: "From our perspective, we need to ensure that this expression of a fresh political commitment does not become a template for a new mandate that detracts from the Bali Action Plan and dissolves the fundamental differentiation in the nature of commitments/actions amongst developed and developing countries as visualized in the BAP." By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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