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Putin to meet Singh, Musharraf in NY

By Vinay Shukla in Moscow
September 14, 2005 14:14 IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet with several world leaders in New York, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, while attending the 60th anniversary summit of the United Nations.

According to the Kremlin, during his four-day US visit, Putin is scheduled to meet with leaders of India, China, UK, Pakistan besides the new leaders of Iran and Iraq. He will also travel to Washington for talks with President George W Bush on wide-ranging issues, including Iran's nuclear programme and situation in the post-Soviet space.

In his address to the Summit 2005, Putin intends to send a message to the world about Russia's view on the future of the UN. "Putin will present Russia's view on ways of strengthening the UN role as a key co-ordinating center for making decisions on international policy issues," a Kremlin source was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.

During the summit, world leaders are scheduled to sign the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, drafted by Russia and adopted by the UN General Assembly in April. Putin is also scheduled to take part in a high-level session of the UN Security Council.

"Moscow wants to discuss Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Troika when Vladimir Putin and George Bush meet on Friday. A dialogue with Tehran is essential, as it will help to establish Iran's thorough and enthusiastic cooperation with the IAEA and the EU 'Troika'," an unnamed Kremlin aide was quoted as saying by the agency.

During Putin's talks with Bush, the issue of former Soviet republics and growing US thrust in Russia's backyard would be one of the key issues. "It is commonly known as one of the most complicated issues on the Russia-US agenda. We are proceeding from the need to make the most of the time left before the next presidential elections to be held in Russia and the United States in 2008, to jointly provide headroom in bilateral relations," the aide said.

Kremlin foreign policy aide, Sergei Prikhodko, said this in an obvious reference to Washington's backing of anti-Moscow Orange and Rose revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia. Bush and Putin also plan to review economic co-operation and bilateral trade, which hit a record $15 billion in 2004 and is expected to reach USD25 billion in 2006.

The official said energy, high technologies and space co-operation were the most promising areas of economic cooperation. Putin is also scheduled to meet with the CEOs of US oil majors in Washington, to encourage them to actively invest in Russia's energy sector.

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Vinay Shukla in Moscow
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