Manmohan to attend Copenhagen Climate Summit on Dec 18

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 05, 2009 21:27 hrs

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday decided to attend the Copenhagen Summit on climate change on December 18, reflecting the importance attached by India to the meet where it is expected to play a crucial role.

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Singh will undertake a two-day visit to Copenhagen from December 17 to attend the Summit, the Prime Minister's Office said.

The Prime Minister's decision to attend the Summit comes against the backdrop of world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pressing him to be there considering India's role on the issue.

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Around 80 Presidents and Prime Ministers are expected to attend the Summit on December 17-18.

Earlier, India had decided that it will be represented by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the conference.

Obama, during his meeting with Singh in Washington last week, had suggested to the Prime Minister that he should attend the Climate Summit. Obama will be there on December 18.

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Subsequently, when Sarkozy met Singh in Port of Spain, he also requested him to join him at Copenhagen.

The French President later told a press conference, "If India is to be heard, it needs to be present (at Copenhagen)", apparently referring to the need for Singh's presence.

Pressing for urgent action to tackle global warming, India wants "substantive legally-binding" outcome from Copenhagen conference which begins on Monday with meeting of negotiators and will have high-level segment from December 16.

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