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Brazil, India and South Africa: Form G3 to counter G8

by ReutersThe Hindu
June 7th, 2003

BRASILIA -- Brazil, India and South Africa have formed a trilateral bloc to boost trade and pool their political muscle in talks with rich nations.

The new grouping follows soon after the G8 meeting of major industrial nations failed to act on a proposal for subsidy cuts to help Africa and a Brazilian plan to create a global fund to fight hunger.

``When countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil speak with one voice, that voice will be heard,'' said the Foreign Minister, Yashwant Sinha, on Friday flanked by his Brazilian and South African counterparts after their first trilateral meeting.

The first political goal of the three is to push the United Nations to reform its Security Council and create permanent seats for developing nations. The three will back each other to get seats. The 15-member U.N. Security Council includes 10 members chosen on a rotating basis from the U.N. membership and five permanent members the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France.

``The first hurdle is to get that reform accepted,'' said the South African Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Brazil's new President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, this week said the three nations, plus China and Russia, had to band together to get the attention of G8 nations preoccupied by the U.S.-led war on terror and global economic weakness.

``We have every interest that this G3 could become a G5,'' said the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim. ``We will not be exclusive''.

The new trilateral grouping, will focus on stronger commercial ties in technology, defence and transportation.

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