PM To Meet Bush, Musharraf On UN Visit

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
A packed schedule awaits Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who leaves on an eight-day trip to the United States. Starting September 19, Dr Singh will be stopping over at London to meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair before going to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session on September 23. Before that, on September 21, Dr Singh will have a breakfast meeting with US President George W Bush in New York, and is likely to meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf the next day on the sidelines of the Assembly session.

However, he will have to forego his visit to Harvard University. Dr Singh had earlier made his interest in accepting an invitation to speak at Harvard University known, following an invitation by long-time friend, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and the current head of the University.

Dr Singh will deliver his maiden address to the UN General Assembly session on September 23. He will return home on September 26.

The PM is expected to make out a strong case for reforms of the UN Security Council and Indias bid for a permanent seat in the world body.

Three of the five permanent UNSC countries Russia, France and Britain have extended support for Indias candidature. The US has remained non-committal on the issue while China has refrained from expressing support on the issue.

The US says it supports Secretary General Kofi Annans efforts to explore how the UN can meet current challenges and it looked forward to the report that a high-level panel is to issue on UN revitalisation.