PM & Entourage Set Off For UN; Stop-over At Ankara

New Delhi, September 16: | Updated: Sep 17 2003, 05:30am hrs
Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee refused to commit himself on the matter of sending Indian troops to Iraq, remarking that the role of the UN itself had been called into question by some recent developments.

Shortly before embarking on a three-day visit to Turkey en route the UN, he told mediapersons the UN is going to meet. If the UN takes a decision, we will also take a decision.

Mr Vajpayee, who is heading a high-level delegation, said the UN session is going to be very important. To what extent the international community can maintain world peace and carry everybody along will be discussed.

In a departure statement, he said there are a number of issues of international concern facing the world and particularly the role and structure of the UN has itself been called into question by some recent developments.

Mr Vajpayee said presence at the UNGA provides an opportunity for exchange of views on these matters with a number of world leaders from different regions.

On his three-day visit to Turkey, the Prime minister said New Delhis relations with Ankara were as old as its great civilisation. We are now witnessing a new commitment and surge to our co-operation.

He said, in the recent past bilateral exchanges had intensified and trade had increased.

We share common values of secularism and democracy with this important country which straddles the continents of Europe and Asia. Both political and economic factors encourage an expansion of our co-operation, he said.

Mr Vajpayee said his visit would give him an opportunity to establish contacts with the leadership of the new government in Turkey.