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Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

 
Without the presence of 21st century enfant terrible of the Middle East Mohammad Ahmadinejad, the towering personality of Fidel Castro or the biting wit of Venezuelian President Hugo Chavez, the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit meet lacks the glamour element.
 
The media room has journalists wondering which world leader to chase for bites. Ultimately the general consensus is that it can only be India-Pakistan talks, whether they happen or not, that can really be the only 'story'.
 
Even the once flamboyant Muammar Gaddafi seems like an aged lion dressed in orange robes and purple turban. All he could say was "We are the world" referring to the over 100 heads of government of mostly developing nations who have gathered here in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

 
Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon met his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) Summit for a second time on Wednesday.
 
The meeting was held ahead of meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday.
 

Describing India's relations with Pakistan as "stressed", Menon said it was no use doing the same dialogue over and over again unless it deals with reality.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

 
The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani – have begun their much anticipated bilateral meeting here on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement Summit.
 
The two leaders are being accompanied and assisted at their talks by their respective foreign ministers, national security advisers, key officials and aides.
 
The scene at the venue of the meeting was completely chaotic on Thursday morning due to an overwhelming media crush.

 

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)
 
Talks between the Prime Ministers’ of India and Pakistan – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani – being held on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM Summit here, have gone beyond the scheduled time.
 
The much anticipated meeting has now gone on for more than two hours, forcing the cancellation of a bilateral meeting between Dr. Singh and his Nepalese counterpart Madhav Kumar Nepal and the postponement of the Prime Minister’s press conference by one-and-a half-hours.
 
The Prime Minister was scheduled to address a press conference at 1 p.m. local time, but this has now been postponed to 2.30 p.m. after the closure of the XVth NAM Summit.

 

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)
 
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held bilateral meetings with his Bangladeshi and Vietnamese counterparts -- Sheikh Hasina and Nguyen Tan Dung respectively on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit here on Wednesday.
 
Leaders of developing states that make up NAM had earlier said the world needs a financial system that is fairer to developing states, which have suffered most from an economic crisis caused by rich countries.
 
The grouping has struggled to stay relevant after it was founded during the Cold War by countries, which did not want to be aligned either with the Soviet Union or the United States.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
After his late night meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, which the two sides described as frank and detailed, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer expressed regret that relations between the two South Asian neighbours had come to such a pass that they have to meet thousands of miles away here in Egypt.
 

He said: "We would be happy to come to New Delhi, I have been there before and we would be happy to have the Indian side over at Islamabad."

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
The XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit began here on Wednesday. Heads of Government of 118 developing nations will discuss issues related to the global economic downturn, terrorism, climate change and food security during the summit.
Other summit themes would be international solidarity for peace and development and current economic and financial crisis. It would also focus in comprehensive manner on global regional and sub-regional issues, besides issues relating to development, human rights and social issues.
Dr. Singh will address the plenary session of the NAM Summit this afternoon, and has already underlined India's commitment to help revitalize the NAM, which had a renewed role to play in the emerging world order following the end of the Cold War.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan – Shiv Shankar Menon and Salman Basheer – burnt the midnight oil on Tuesday to try to work out some kind of framework to lay the ground for the resumption of talks between the two countries.
 
Mandated by their respective Prime Ministers’ – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani -- to work out the modalities before the two heads of government meet on Thursday (July 16). Menon and Basheer interacted with each other without the assistance of aides late into the night.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
Barely into the second paragraph of his speech at the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani brought up the topic of Kashmir by saying "long standing unresolved disputes" were putting stress on international systems.
 
And, as if this hint was not enough, Gilani later in his speech said: "Durable peace in South Asia is achievable" and that it could only be "facilitated by the resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir."

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
As part of the media team accompanying the Prime Minister to Egypt to take part in the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit meet, I can't help but feel a sense of anxiety.
 
I am walking the streets of the place where my father was posted in 1961 as a young officer with the United Nations Emergency Force. Then Captain Ramamohan Rao, he was sent to the United Nations emergency force in Gaza strip as part of the Indian Contingent.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
Addressing the 118-member XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in this Red Sea resort on Wednesday afternoon, India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, without directly naming or targeting Pakistan, said that no nation should provide a safe haven to terrorists.
 

Apparently setting the tone for what he is likely to take up with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during their meeting on Thursday, Dr. Singh said that in recent years terrorists have become "more sophisticated, more organized and more daring".

 

Sharm-el- Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
Speaking shortly after a late night meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon here, a visibly tired Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer said he brought up the issue of the resumption of the composite dialogue between the two countries.
 
He said: "The composite dialogue provides avenues for specific discussions. It is a structured set up and, in many ways, it has delivered in the past."
 
Basheer, however, clarified that it wasn’t just the issue of the composite dialogue that came up.
 
"It was more than just terror, we talked about bilateral relations. We have to give the two Prime Ministers’ a chance" to talk,” he said.

Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

 
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh arrived in Egypt late on Tuesday night to attend the two-day XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.
 
Issues like global economic downturn, terrorism, climate change and food security are expected to be on top of the agenda at the Summit.
 
Other summit themes are international solidarity for peace and development and current economic and financial crisis. It would also focus in comprehensive manner on global regional and sub-regional issues, besides issues relating to development, human rights and social issues.




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