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Special Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary Shri Shyam Saran on the eve of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Brazil and Cuba, September 10-18, 2006

September 08, 2006

OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN (SHRI NAVTEJ SARNA): Good evening everybody. We are very glad to have the Foreign Secretary here to brief you on Prime Minister's visit to Brazil and then to Cuba.

FOREIGN SECRETARY (SHRI SHYAM SARAN): Thank you very much. I would like to wish all of you a very pleasant afternoon.

The Prime Minister will be visiting both Brasilia as well as Havana, Cuba for three different sets of meetings. The first is an official bilateral visit to Brazil at the invitation of President Lula of Brazil on the 12th of September.

On the 13th, there will be a summit meeting of IBSA countries - that is, India, Brazil and South Africa. This, as you know, has emerged as a very important grouping of these three major developing countries which spans three continents - the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Finally, on September 15-16, the Prime Minister would be in Havana to attend the Non-Aligned Summit which is being held there.

Let me start with the bilateral visit to Brazil. Brazil, as you know, is an extremely important country. It is the largest country in Latin America. It has a population of about 186 million. It has a GDP of nearly 800 plus billion dollars. Today it has become one of the most dynamic economies in the world. It is a flourishing democracy. Over the recent years, we have established a very close partnership with Brazil. Our trade currently is about 2.3 billion US dollars. Our exports to Brazil are already 1.5 billion US dollars. So, as you can see, it is a very important economic partner for India.

In addition to that what is also very important is the kind of cross-investment which is taking place between the two countries. The ONGC Videsh Limited has already invested about half a billion dollars in an offshore petroleum exploration project. Petrobras, which is the Brazilian counterpart of ONGC, is looking at investing in a very major offshore field in India. It has, in fact, almost decided to make that investment. We have a number of our pharmaceutical companies which are already very well based in Brazil and, in fact, are using Brazil as a very convenient platform for accessing other Latin American countries.

We also have with Brazil a lot of cooperation in various fields. One of the very important initiatives which Brazil has taken is based on the great success that it has achieved in the use of ethanol as an alternative to petroleum for its energy requirements. India has already conveyed to Brazil our intention to join the International Ethanol Initiative which Brazil is going to be launching.

Brazil has recently emerged as a very important country in commercial agriculture because it has a very large amount of fertile land available. Only six per cent or so of its arable land is actually under cultivation today. So, there is a vast potential. So, we are looking at the possibilities of a much closer cooperation in terms of commercial agriculture with Brazil.

Brazil has also made some very significant advances in the field of aviation. Maybe you are all familiar with the well known Embraer jet aircraft. So, we are looking at that emerging as an important area of joint collaboration between our two countries. So, as you can see, there is already a strong economic and trade partnership between the two countries, and we believe that there is a tremendous potential for us to take this partnership to a much higher level.

Politically, Brazil being, as I said the most important country in Latin America and also a very important partner in this IBSA grouping, has also traditionally been very much on the same side as India when it comes to important international security related issues. India and Brazil have been partners in the global effort in the field of disarmament. We have worked together very closely on these issues. We are on the same side when it comes to global trade negotiations. In fact, in the current Doha Round we have cooperated very closely together championing the cause of developing countries. This partnership is only going to increase further in the years to come. Also very important, as you know, Brazil is also part of the G-4 grouping - the G-4 countries who are leading the movement for reform of the UN Security Council who are contenders for permanent membership of the Security Council. So, when it comes to issues of UN reform, in particular UN Security Council reform, again India and Brazil are very closely associated with each other.

This visit is really the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 38 years. The last visit was 38 years ago by Mrs. Gandhi. So, a visit from India has been really due for sometime. President Lula had been on a visit to India as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day in 2004. So, this is a very welcome opportunity to reinforce the political relationship between our two countries.

Let me then move on to IBSA. The IBSA grouping was established about three years ago with India, South Africa and Brazil. But this is the first summit which is being held of the three countries. We have, of course, met on the margins of the UNGA both in 2003 and 2005. In a sense, this is the first summit of the three countries. I think it reflects the very rapid growth in the partnership amongst the three countries and their own perception that this grouping has in a sense come of age and has a major contribution to make to the interests of the three countries, and a recognition that as three of the most important developing countries spanning really the three continents, there is a certain role that can be played by these countries in South-South cooperation, in also amongst themselves by pooling their very considerable scientific and technological resources together, their very considerable economic resources together, harmonizing their positions in international fora, whether they be political fora, or economic fora. From that point of view, upgrading this relationship to the summit level, all the three countries believe, is a very timely development.

There will be, of course, a meeting of the three Heads of State and Government. There is also a business component. There are CEO delegations from the three countries who would also be interacting on the margins of the summit because we do believe that the economic partnership that we are talking about needs to be buttressed by much greater interaction amongst our private sectors.

The agenda is really quite broad. The declaration, for example, that we are working on will be looking at a number of regional issues. We will be looking at a number of international issues, global issues. We will be looking at some of the specific areas in which the three countries could be working together. What I would like to do here is to give you just a sense of the kind of things that we will be focusing on.

On the political side, certainly the reform of the United Nations is a very important element and we will be talking about the UN Security Council reform. Certainly from our point of view the issue of international terrorism is going to be a major theme during the summit. Both Brazil and South Africa had expressed their outrage at the Mumbai blasts and are very much conscious of the need for there to be an international effort, a global effort, to confront the problem of terrorism. So, this is one very important theme. We would also be touching upon issues like human rights. We will be talking about the situation in West Asia, particularly the recent events in Lebanon.

On the economic side there will be a focus on issues such as the Doha Round and what kind of outcome we expect from Doha Round. All three countries have been emphasizing that development needs to be at the centre of these negotiations, that this should be able to create a truly multilateral, a non-discriminatory, rule-based international trading system.

We would also, in the Declaration, be talking about the peaceful uses of nuclear energy which is an important area for us. There will be a reflection of the belief of all three countries that we need to develop the peaceful uses of nuclear energy as a contribution to energy security.

By the way, we will also be, in the Declaration, focusing attention on the issue of disarmament because there is a belief amongst all the three countries that somehow the issue of disarmament, in particular the issue of nuclear disarmament, appears to have fallen off the global agenda. This is something that we would like to bring back into global focus once again. So, there will be a reflection of that conviction in the Joint Declaration.

We would, of course, be talking about a number of things that we can do together in the trilateral framework. We are looking at what are the kind of barriers which are there to really energizing the trade relationship amongst the three countries. Almost immediately what comes to mind is the transportation linkages because unless you have efficient shipping services linking the three countries, unless you have air services serving the three countries, it is difficult to see how we can really realize the full potential of our economic partnership. So, this is one area which we are going to be focusing attention on.

With regard to trade itself, there is the regional trade grouping MERCOSUR. You have the Southern African Customs Union of which South Africa is a member. So, we are looking at a trilateral trade grouping in which India would be really setting up a kind of a preferential trading area with MERCOSUR as well as Southern African Customs Union. We are going to have a Joint Study Group which would be looking at the possibility of really setting up a free trade regime amongst the three partners. That is something which will lead, hopefully, to very specific recommendations that can be considered by the three Governments.

As I mentioned to you, one of the very major areas of concern for us is energy and the need for us to work together on energy security. Here, whether it is in terms of exploration of and the exploitation of conventional sources of energy, certainly oil and gas, we are also looking at non-conventional resources of energy. In that connection I mentioned to you the Brazilian advances in things like bio-fuels, particularly ethanol. This is one of the areas where we would be working together.

In some of the other areas we are looking at how we can bring together our considerable scientific and technical resources of the countries. We have very well-established science and technological research networks, very good infrastructure. So, we are looking at how we can bring this together in order to deal with certain common problems. These relate particularly to, for example, public health issues like tackling global HIV AIDS, also malaria and tuberculosis which has seen resurgence in recent years. This is another area.

We have also a trilateral project for poverty alleviation currently in Guinea Bissau. We are looking at how we can expand this South-South cooperation for development of third-world countries, particularly countries in Africa. This is one area where we feel that as three major developing countries we can contribute to the development of the third-world countries. So, these are some of the important areas.

Now let me give you just a sense of the bilateral agreements and the trilateral agreements which are going to be concluded. With respect to the India-Brazil bilateral relationship, there will be an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries. We are looking at an air services agreement, precisely what I mentioned to you the need to have better air services between the two countries. We are also looking at an MoU between the Bureau of Indian Standards and its Brazilian counterpart which is known by its acronym ABNT. There is going to be an MoU on cooperation in the field of human settlements, which is really between our Ministries of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation and the Brazilian Ministry of Housing. This is essentially to really exchange our experiences in terms of low-cost housing and in terms of development of real estate.

There will be an MoU for the conduct of Weeks of Indian Culture in Brazil and then corresponding Weeks of Brazilian Culture in India. There will be an MoU on Plant Health Cooperation between the two countries. The MoU between the BMEL and a Brazilian company for manufacture of railway wagons is something which is in the works. There will also be an MoU between the ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Petrobras of Brazil for much more expanded cooperation between our two oil majors. These are the bilateral agreements with Brazil.

Under IBSA, we are looking at an MoU on trilateral cooperation in agriculture and allied fields. There will be an MoU on India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum. This forum will be specifically looking at the development of bio-fuels. There will be a trilateral agreement on maritime shipping and maritime transport related matters and a framework for cooperation on information society, essentially in the IT field. Finally there will be an action plan on trade facilitations for standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment. This is essentially for trade promotion. So, as you can see, there are a number of both bilateral as well as trilateral documents which will be concluded during the visit.

This is as far as the bilateral visit and trilateral IBSA summit is concerned. Would you like me to stop here and perhaps take some question from you before I move on to the Non-Aligned Summit?

QUESTION: Today, the Indian Express has published a report on what Mr. Jairam Ramesh has said on IBSA. Would you like to comment on that?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I do not know what Mr. Jairam Ramesh has said. I have seen the newspaper report. As I mentioned, the IBSA forum is only about three years old. Our sense is that we have already, in those three years, achieved a considerable degree of progress, whether it is in terms of promotion of trade, in terms of promotion of investment. I have spelt out for you a number of areas where cooperation amongst the three countries can really have a lot of potential. Energy security, our cooperation in the health sector, cooperation in the IT sector, these are already proven fields for cooperation. We will also be undertaking a joint study to look at the feasibility of further development including, as I mentioned to you, the possible establishment of a free trade regime amongst India, MERCOSUR and SACU. Let us wait and see. In terms of the complementarities amongst the three economies, which I think has been referred to in this report that you are talking about, our sense is that there is already some proven complementarity from the experience that we have had so far. And we have a sense that the study that is going to be undertaken is probably going to be able to identify many other areas of complementarities amongst the three economies. Let me say that we are quite optimistic in terms of the prospects for cooperation amongst the three countries.

QUESTION: I have two questions. Did the Brazilian Government express its displeasure over the reported remarks of the Minister of State for Commerce Mr. Jairam Ramesh? And, are you going to ask them for their support in the NSG?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: To answer your first question, yes, certain interest was expressed in the reports which have appeared as to what these reported remarks imply. We on our part have conveyed the assurance that we attach great value both to our bilateral relationship with Brazil as well as to the prospects for cooperation on a trilateral basis in IBSA.

With regard to the question on NSG, as you know Brazil is the current Chairman of the NSG and we have been in close touch with them on the adjustment of the NSG guidelines to enable nuclear energy cooperation with India. Our sense is that Brazil has played and will continue to play a helpful role.

QUESTION: Talking about South Africa, has South Africa indicated its willingness to back India at the NSG?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: This matter was raised by Minister of State Shri Anand Sharma when he visited South Africa. He had also taken up this matter at the highest level with President Mbeki. There again, our sense is that South Africa would be supportive of India.

QUESTION: Are we looking at sporting ties with Brazil in football?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: We have a recommendation from no less a person than Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsiji that we should look at the possibility of cooperation in terms of soccer training, football training, from Brazil. I can assure you that this will be one of the important issues which will come up in the meeting that our Prime Minister will have with the Brazilian President.

QUESTION: On the issue of trade, do you have any comparative trade figures for Brazil, India and South Africa?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I think I gave you the figures. With Brazil trade has increased from about 500 million dollars in the year 2000 to 2.3 billion dollars in 2005. With regard to South Africa, the figure is 1.7 billion dollars in 2001 which grew to 4.035 billion dollars in 2005.

QUESTION: Can you just come again on the Ethanol Initiative?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: Brazil is a leader in the use of ethanol in place of gasoline and this has been a great success story. Now especially with petroleum prices rising, the use of ethanol has become even more attractive than before. So, the Ethanol Initiative essentially is a recommendation that it should be made mandatory that 10 per cent of all transportation requirement should be met by the use of ethanol, or at least that should be the target. While this is being done by Brazil on a national basis, and it is something which has been also encouraged in several other countries, what Brazil is now proposing is that in view of the rising oil prices and the energy challenge which many developing countries are facing, we should be looking at an international effort to promote the use of ethanol. As I mentioned, we have supported this initiative and have agreed to be a part of this initiative.

QUESTION: Is the Indian Government or some Indian companies going to buy land in Brazil and manufacture ethanol? Is there some proposal like that?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I do not think we have gone to that extent of specificity. As I mentioned, there is quite a large amount of arable land which is available in Brazil and there are prospects for commercial farming. This is something which even our own private sector is already looking at. So, it is possible that this could be one area where we could collaborate together.

QUESTION: On this NSG issue, what is our take on Brazil's stand? Is it amenable to India?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I have mentioned, our sense is that the general attitude appears to be that while there are concerns with respect to nonproliferation, taking into account the excellent relations that these countries have with India, taking into account the impeccable record that we have with respect to nonproliferation, the adjustment of the NSG guidelines is something which many of our friendly countries will not stand in the way of.

Let us come to the Non-Aligned Summit. The Ministerial Meeting will be held on the 13th and 14th of September followed by the summit meeting on the 15th and 16th of September. There will be an inaugural event which would take place on the 15th of September and then the plenary debate will continue. The theme which has been chosen for this particular summit is "Purposes and Principles and the Role of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Present International Juncture”. That is the theme that the Heads of State and Government will be focusing attention on.

There has been a lot of talk as to whether the Non-Aligned Movement is still relevant in global affairs, is there any possibility of the Non-Aligned Movement being revitalized to once again play an important role in international affairs, does Non-Aligned Movement have any meaning in today's world. I think what we have to recognize is that this movement, including as it does virtually all the major developed countries from across the globe, has a certain relevance, if for nothing else just for that. You do not have today a forum which is as representative of the developing world as the Non-Aligned Movement.

India, as one of the founder members of the Non-Aligned Movement, certainly believes that it continues to have relevance. That does not mean that that particular relevance or the role of Non-Aligned Movement could have in international affairs is actually being performed. We certainly believe that there is a great deal that needs to be done in order to energise the movement, in order to enable the movement to really play a role not only in terms of the major political issues facing the international community but also in terms of very major economic and social issues facing the world today. Our sense is that globalization, which is a fact of life, has brought about benefits to developing countries. It has opened up many possibilities for much higher growth amongst developing countries. But there is no doubt that in terms of the benefits it is an uneven picture. There are countries which have gained from this process of globalization: there are countries which have been left behind in this process of globalization. I think one of the challenges, therefore, is how we make the process of globalisation something which in terms of its benefits is much more inclusive in character. I think that is one area in which the non-Aligned Movement may certainly play an important role.

Another aspect that we are looking at is that today somehow or the other we are entering into what looks like another era of a global divide where people have started talking about the reality of clash of civilizations, people are talking about there being a kind of a confrontation with Islam. We as a plural democracy ourselves, we as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country ourselves, believe that really what we should be talking about today is really a confluence of civilizations rather than a clash of civilization. I think there is a great responsibility amongst countries like India and certainly Non-Aligned Movement we feel as a grouping which really encompasses every religion that is known to mankind, every ethnic group that exists on this planet. If we have such a grouping, can we not utilize this great asset that we have in order to promote that sense of confluence, a sense of understanding? So, even during its early part of its existence the Non-Aligned Movement projected itself, found a role as a bridge in the global divide of that age where there was an East-West divide. Can we today find also a similar kind of a bridging role with regard to another divide which seems to be emerging and which needs to be prevented?

So, if the Non-Aligned Movement is a grouping of countries which coexist together, which have learned to work together despite the fact that they represent different religions, different ethnic groups, I think a very strong message can come from this movement in terms of preventing that global divide and promoting a sense of coexistence, a sense of mutual tolerance and trust amongst our different countries. So, we believe there is a role that Non-Aligned Movement can play.

The other aspect is that Non-Aligned Movement, right from the inception, has always been preoccupied with the theme of development because after all we are all developing countries. How to utilize the strength of numbers that we have, the great influence that we have precisely because of the fact that we come from across the globe - Latin America, Africa, Asia, as also from Europe? How do we ensure that we can pool our strength together and the collective influence that we can bring to bear to try and resolve some of the major global issues of our time?

When we have talked about globalization we have all along been saying that today there are issues which are not amenable to national solutions; there are issues which are not amenable to regional solutions. If we are talking about terrorism; if we are talking about the challenge of energy security or the related issue of environment, the safeguarding of our global environment; if we are talking about global public health issues; if we want to succeed in overcoming any of these major challenges that are facing us; there is no doubt that unless you can have a global effort, unless you can bring the majority of countries together on one platform, how do we resolve these problems?

The question is whether or not the Non-Aligned Movement and the members of the Non-Aligned Movement see their destiny, see their future in being able to work together, in recognizing that there are these global challenges. Can the Non-Aligned Movement today in a sense reinvent itself really as a movement to promote solutions to these very important contemporary challenges that we are facing? What I can tell you is that certainly the effort on the part of the Indian delegation, certainly the effort on the part of the Indian Prime Minister will be to try and project that kind of a new contemporary vision for the Non-Aligned Movement when he is there in Havana.

We would certainly like to avoid a situation where we merely have a declaration which is a collection of various paragraphs which are given by different countries or groups of countries on issues of interest to them. That is one way of coming out with a declaration. Yes, we understand that there are regional issues which are very important to the countries concerned and they are very important globally. For example, what happens in West Asia is of concern not only to countries in that region, but also to the rest of the world as well. Having said that, I think it is important that we take advantage of the collective strength of the movement.

So, if there is a message which comes out on say issues like the importance of disarmament, as I mentioned to you in the IBSA context; bringing nuclear disarmament to the top of the global security agenda; making sure that all our countries from across the globe really have a common stand with regard to terrorism or with regard to say the Doha Round, on international trade and economic issues; this could undoubtedly make a very big difference in terms of the outcome of our effort. So, that will be really the effort that will be certainly made by us.

Amongst the themes that we are looking at, in the final document we have been discussing UN reform, terrorism, regional issues like Afghanistan, West Asian issue including both Lebanon and Palestine. Then we are looking at economic and social issues. These include, of course, the aspect of South-South cooperation, our role in the World Trade Organisation, what we can do together to deal with HIV AIDS and environment. We are talking about working together on issues such as what we can do to network the considerable resources, research resources, which are available amongst our developing countries for agriculture or industry. These are some of the issues that we will be focusing on during the summit and these will find reflection in the final document.

It is a historic summit because we return to Cuba which is one of the major NAM countries and one of the founder countries. President Castro was also the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1980 to 1983. You will recall that the 1983 summit was held in New Delhi when India received the mantle from Cuba for chairing the Non-Aligned Movement. So, we go back after 26 years to Cuba. So, it is going to be a very historic occasion. We certainly hope that this will be a historic occasion not only in mere symbolic terms but really in transforming the role of the Non-Aligned Movement as far as the current international situation is concerned.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION: I want to ask you about the India-Pakistan meeting. When is that supposed to take place? What are the chances of it happening?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: There would likely be a meeting between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. It will be on one of the two days of the summit. I think the summit is on the 15th and 16th. So, it will be on one of those days.

QUESTION: What are the signals that you are getting from the Pakistani side? What are the chances of going ahead with the peace process?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I would not like to prejudge the dialogue which Prime Minister and President Musharraf would be having. But I think it would be fair to say that both the leaders are very conscious of the importance of India-Pakistan relations. Both are leaders who are committed to taking forward the dialogue process, taking forward the peace process. At the same time there is recognition that unless the issue of terrorism is addressed and addressed in a substantive way, it is difficult to ensure the success of this process. So, I believe that it is in that spirit that the two leaders will be meeting and talking to each other.

QUESTION: Does India intend to play some sort of a moderator role given the strong possibility that there will be anti-US rhetoric coming out of NAM? How do you feel about that?

FOREIGN SECRETARY: It is not just India, it is a matter of, as I said, the collective voice of the Non-Aligned Movement. If the Non-Aligned Movement has had an impact on the international public opinion, that impact has been not by making strident statements, not by just indulging in condemnatory language but in being able to identify what the problems and what the challenges are and, much more important, offering solutions. So, our efforts would be that the message which should be coming out of the Non-Aligned summit should be a constructive one, should be one which seeks to unite rather than seeks to divide. I think that is where our strength lies.

QUESTION: Is there going to be a G-15 meeting on the sidelines of this summit in Havana?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I believe that is being planned on the 14th. But I am not certain that the Prime Minister would be able to attend that meeting. But there will be an Indian presence. Let us see what emerges out of that. I think Algeria is chairing that meeting.

QUESTION: If I can take you back to what you said, you said that unless the issue of terrorism is addressed and addressed substantively, it will be difficult to carry forward the dialogue process. The question is, what exactly do you mean by that? Does it mean that the Foreign Secretary level talks which had to be postponed on the 22nd of July will not be announced till Pakistan addresses our concerns? What exactly do you have in mind when you say ‘addressing our concerns'?

FOREIGN SECRETARY: I think I have been fairly clear in what I mean. Let me just correct you that there were no dates for the Foreign Secretary level talks which were then postponed. What happened was that no dates were in fact given for this Foreign Secretary level talks. So, what we really have to do is to set up a date for the Foreign Secretary level talks. Let me also remind you that other aspects of interaction between India and Pakistan like the technical level meetings are in place as scheduled. None of those have been interrupted. So, essentially it is that dates for the Foreign Secretary level talks as part of the Composite Dialogue have not yet been finalized. Yes, if the results of the summit meeting between the Prime Minister and President Musharraf are satisfactory, and we see that there is willingness on the part of Pakistan to work together with India to deal with what Pakistan itself says the shared challenge, shared threat. If it is a shared threat, then India and Pakistan should be seen as working together to eliminate that threat. I do not think it is necessary for me to spell out what are those specific steps which could be taken. I think both India and Pakistan know what needs to be done.

QUESTION: Will there be any other significant bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister at Havana? Will President Castro be in a position to inaugurate the summit?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I do not have any confirmation with regard to President Castro's presence. The latest indication is that he would probably be there for the inaugural ceremony but that remains to be seen.

Yes, of course, Prime Minister will be meeting several other Heads of State and Government in Havana. But I do not have a ready list at the moment because these meetings are still in the process of being scheduled.

QUESTION: The fifth anniversary of 9/11 is on Monday. Can you tell us what impact does it have on India and what it means for India five years after?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: I think we have pointed out a number of times that we have been dealing with the issue of terrorism for a much longer time much before 9/11. Our struggle against terrorism is certainly not just five years old. But what 9/11 did do was to bring the global dimension of this problem out into the open, that this is not only India's struggle but what India has been dealing with is part and parcel of a global struggle. What is important is that today there is a recognition that this is not a challenge, no matter how powerful a country there may be, which can be faced by using national means and there is need for cooperation amongst all the countries in the world. We have also pointed out that if you look at the recent incidents that have taken place, these in fact bring home to us the fact that there is a network which - you call it Al Qaeda, or you call it Taliban, or you call it Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, or you call it Al-Badr, or you call it Harkat-ul-Mujahiddeen, you may refer to it by various names - is part and parcel of the same network. So, any attempt to try and deal with one aspect or one manifestation of that problem and ignoring the other manifestations of that problem is simply not going to work. What we are seeing happen today is precisely that. If the fifth anniversary of 9/11 enables us to move from that global recognition that this is a problem that faces all of us, to a global action amongst all the major countries to deal with the problem in its entirety, the problem in all its manifestations, if we are able to graduate to that level of cooperation, I think it would be a very fitting way to commemorate this anniversary.

QUESTION: How do you view the compromise reached between the Pakistani Army and Taliban in Waziristan area?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: Frankly speaking, I have no details of what precisely this deal is. From what I understand, the Pakistani Army would move out from these tribal areas and the job of policing these tribal areas will once again be of the tribes themselves with some kind of an understanding between the two sides. Well, we will wait and see how this will work. You have seen that there are assessments that this may mean that the Taliban may have a free run in those areas. If that is the consequence of this deal, then, of course, it is rather ominous. If as is being argued by people who support it that this will lead to a better management of this border between Southern Afghanistan and Pakistan, it could be a good thing. But I think the jury is still out. We will have to wait and see.

Thank you very much.

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