Frankfurt, Sept.23 : The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, after a night halt at Frankfurt, left for New York on Tuesday afternoon on the first leg of his ten day visit to the United States and France.
A busy schedule awaits Dr. Singh in New York. He will have bilateral meetings with the Pakistan President, the Chinese Premier tomorrow apart from having discussions with the World Bank President.
In his meeting with Wen Jiabao, Dr. Singh is expected to discuss the progress made in bilateral trade between the two countries. People-to-people contacts will also be reviewed and global issues on which both countries hold similar views will also come up for discussion.
Issues of energy, nuclear, climate change, terrorism, regional trade, defence and border issues will also come up for a review during Wednesday's meetings.
During discussions with President Zardari, Dr. Singh will reiterate India's concern over continuing cross-border terrorism and frequent incidents of ceasefire violations. He will also meet leaders of Italy, Britain and Namibia. The highlight of Dr. Singh's U.S. visit will be his meeting with President George Bush in Washington on September 25. It is expected that both will discuss a host of issues on their bilateral agenda, including our civil nuclear initiative.
The two leaders will carry forward their discussions during the G-8 summit in Hokkaido , Japan , and are expected to review the progress of initiatives launched in the last three years that have transformed the relationship. The issue of terrorism and crises in the US Financial market will also figure prominently in the discussions.
In his address to the UN General Assembly on Friday, Dr. Singh will call for the expansion of the UN Security Council in the backdrop of the U.N. agreeing to begin inter-governmental negotiations on the issue next year.
Dr. Singh will also attend the Ninth India-European Union (EU) summit in the French port city of Marseilles.
He will seek to strengthen the economic cooperation between the India and the EU and call for strengthening the counter-terrorism mechanism
In Paris, he will have a bilateral meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to consolidate ties in the areas of trade and investment, defence, space, civil nuclear cooperation and high technology.
Both countries are working on a pact on nuclear cooperation and will sign an agreement on civil aviation.