SAARC Summit beginning tomorrow amid tight security

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Colombo, Aug 1 (UNI) The 15th SAARC Summit begins here tomorrow amid a tight security cordon thrown around the Sri Lankan capital with the eight South Asian nations poised to sign four agreements including one on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for cooperation against crimes.

Three other agreements--Charter and Bylaws for SAARC Development Fund (SDF), setting up a SAARC Regional Standards Organisation and Afghanostan acceeding to SAFTA--will also be signed at the Summit.

The two-day Summit being held under the shadow of terrorist bombings in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, is also exxpected to discuss a common strategy to fight the scourge, official said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here this afternoon to a red carpet welcome to attend the two-day Summit, met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse this evening.

He will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gillani tomorrow on the sidelines of the Summit. This will be the first meeting between the two Prime Ministers after a democratically-elected government was installed in Islamabad.

Dr Singh was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport, about 40 km from the Sri Lankaan capital, by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister. He was presented a Guard of Honour and later left for Colomco in an Indian Air Force helicopter.

The Prime Minister also met leaders of some political parties here this evening.

Editors please pick up suitably from related and earlier series.


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