India, US, Brazil join European countries at climate mini-summit
Copenhagen, Dec 18 - Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva joined leaders from European and African countries for a snap mini-summit on fighting climate change in Copenhagen Thursday night, officials said.
The talks were requested by the European Union's presidency and executive in a bid to push for a deal Friday on fighting global warming, diplomatic sources told DPA.
The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UN also joined the talks, which were chaired by Danish premier Lars Lokke Rasmussen, chair of the Copenhagen conference.
Ethiopian premier Meles Zenawi, current holder of the African Union's rotating presidency, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who is to chair UN climate talks next year, also attended alongside Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.
Top officials from the Maldives, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Lesotho also attended, diplomats close to the talks said.
But Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, although invited, did not attend the meeting, European sources said. Earlier, diplomats had said that the Chinese leader was among the top politicians present.
The mini-summit was suggested by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, and Jose Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission, who was also present.
Their aim was to "help build a consensus for a global deal that produces an ambitious outcome to this conference," a statement said.
Ahead of the meeting, officials said that the idea was to gather around 25 leaders who could speak on behalf of regional groupings such as the EU and the African Union.
Talks on fighting global warming have been proceeding at a snail's pace in recent days, dogged by rows between developed and developing countries.
Negotiations accelerated Thursday afternoon, but diplomats said world leaders faced a tough struggle Friday if they were to clinch a deal. (dpa)