Sinha Leaves For Asean Summit

New Delhi, July 29: | Updated: Jul 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
The government is expected to make a declaration shortly urging Pakistan to resolve differences and de-escalate tension through peaceful means. The declaration is expected at the end of the ninth Asean regional forum (ARF) summit on July 31 in in the Brunei capital of Bandar Seri Begawan. Foreign minister Yashwant Sinha leaves for Brunei Monday night.

According to the foreign ministry spokesperson, the deliberations at the summit are expected to focus on the Indo-Pak impasse as also terrorism.

Mr Sinha will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising foreign secretary Kanwal Sibbal and other senior officials.

Bilateral meetings between Mr Sinha and his counterparts from the US, Russia, China and Japan are also likely during the summit.

This is the first meeting of the 10-member Asean grouping, after the September 11 terror strikes. European Union members, India, the US, and Russia are attending the summit as “dialogue partners.”

ARF is the first multilateral meeting for Mr Sinha. He will also meet US secretary of state Colin Powell during the summit. Mr Powell is expected to brief Mr Sinha about his talks with Pakistani president Musharraf on Sunday.

Mr Sinha will also attend the ministerial-level meeting, which will discuss preparations for the Indo-Asean summit to be held in November in Cambodia.