Syrian President to arrive today

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New Delhi, June 17 : Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will arrive here this evening on a five-day visit.

On Wednesday, President al-Assad will be accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

On the same day, Vice President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition L K Advani will call on the visiting dignitary.

Later in the day, President al-Assad is slated to meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and both countries are expected to sign agreements.

The two sides will sign agreements for Avoidance of the Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and a Work Plan under Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors for 2008-09.

During the talks, the two sides will hold discussion on a whole range of bilateral issues with a focus on enhancing trade and economic ties.

President Patil will host a State Banquet in honour of Al-Assad.

On Thursday, Al-Assad will leave for Bangalore. He is also scheduled to travel to Agra.

Al-Assad will be accompanied by his wife Asma al-Assad and a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, Minister of Economy and Trade Amer Husni Lutfi, Minister of Telecommunication and Technology Emad Sabouni and other senior officials.

ANI

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