An undoubtedly tired Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned to New Delhi on Saturday after helping to hammer out a last-minute political accord at the UN Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen (UNFCC).
Talks were deadlocked late into the night, and the meeting was adjourned in the wee hours of Saturday. Reports as to what happened after this are somewhat conflicting.
The Western media seems to largely agree that the 'accord' – a flimsy document of less than three pages, which doesn't bind anyone to anything – was hammered out in two meetings between US president Barak Obama and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Friday, and the other three BASIC countries – India, Brazil, and South Africa – were merely roped in to endorse a done deal. (See: US, China, India, South Africa hammer out a `Copenhagen Accord')
Other reports suggest that Obama barged uninvited into a BASIC meeting held on Friday afternoon between Wen Jiabao, Manmohan Singh, Brazilian president Lula da Silva, and South African president Jacob Zuma, and managed to get them on board to thrash out some sort of an agreement.
Later on Saturday morning, even as Singh was already at the airport and Wen was about to leave, they were recalled to the Bella Centre for an eleventh-hour deal. Da Silva and Zuma also had to delay their departure by about five hours.
In any case, what is certain is that the 'Copenhagen Accord' – as it is called – was arrived at only between the US and the BASIC countries, and was almost shoved down the throat of the other countries. Even the European Union was left out, much to its chagrin.