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Natwar for deeper ties with China, Russia

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October 21, 2004 22:32 IST

India, Russia and China on Thursday discussed various international issues of mutual interest and underlined the need for collective approaches to the world affairs.

External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing stressed the need for strengthening cooperation.

Noting that India, Russia and China were "major countries," Singh said, "We share a certain vision about how the world should look like." Lavrov said the trilateral forum was "useful for assessment" of developments of the world and the role the three countries are playing.

"It provides a forum for exchanging views on how to deepen our cooperation and strengthen collective approaches to world affairs," he said. Li, while pointing out that it was an "unofficial but important forum", said "we are meeting at a time when the world is undergoing profound changes. Let us work together to promote peace and development."

Singh also held talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, during which they explored possibilities for cooperation in many fields, mainly the energy sector.

Singh, who will be attending the ministerial meeting of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia during his two-day visit, also discussed with the Kazakh president various regional and international issues besides the ways in which the two countries can strengthen their relationship.

Forging cooperation in the energy sector with Kazakhstan, which is rich in petrochemical products, was one of the major issues discussed during the meeting. India realises the tremendous potential for cooperation in oil and natural gas sector considering the immense quantity of reserves in this central Asian country.

Other areas that figured in the Natwar-Nazarbayev talks included pharmaceuticals and tourism, sectors where India finds a considerable scope for cooperation.

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