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India to push for IMF reforms, discuss Libya at ASEM meet

Monday June 06, 2011 07:45:04 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: As the race for the top job at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) intensifies, India will push hard for the reform of international financial institutions at the two-day meeting of the foreign ministers of the 46-nation Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partnership forum that began in Hungary Monday.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is representing India at the 10th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Godollo, Hungary.

The forum is expected to discuss views on issues relating to economic governance and the reform of the international financial system.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has repeatedly questioned the Western monopoly over top positions in international financial institutions. Krishna is expected to renew India's call for the reform of global financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank, an official said here, even as French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde will be in India Tuesday to garner its support for her bid to lead the IMF.

The ASEM meeting will focus on a cluster of non-traditional security threats ranging from terrorism, piracy, food and energy security, climate change, disaster relief and management, illegal migration and infectious diseases.

The restive situation in Libya and the pro-democracy change in parts of the Arab world will also figure in the discussions. India has opposed the NATO airstrikes against the North African country and backed the African Union's position for a dialogue to end the crisis.

Krishna's participation at the meet "would underscore India's commitment to play a constructive and proactive role in further strengthening this vital inter-regional forum," the external affairs ministry said here Monday.

Set up in 1996, ASEM, which represents over half of the global population and accounts for more than half of the global GDP, held its first summit meeting at Bangkok. A forum of 46 Asian and European countries, ASEM also comprises two international organisations, ASEAN and European Union, for expanding political and security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.

India has been participating in ASEM meetings since 2007. Manmohan Singh participated in the 7th ASEM Summit, for the first time, at Beijing in October 2008. The next summit will take place in Vientiane (Lao PDR) in October 2012.





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