PM arrives in Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Apr 25 (UNI) Uzbekistan rolled out a red carpet welcome for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who arrived here tonight from Germany on a two-day visit to discuss with Uzbek President Islam Karimov ways and means to intensify cooperation in the fight against terrorism and enhance trade and economic relations, particularly in the gas and energy sectors.
In an unprecedented gesture, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat M Mirziyayev came to the airport to recieve Dr Singh, who is accompanied by a high-powered delegation.
The Prime Minister was also welcomed by Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Skand Ranjan Tayal and senior Indian and Uzbek leaders.
People lined along the streets of Tashkent waving Indian and Uzbek flags.
From the Tashkent Airport, the Prime Minister drove straight to Hotel Intercontinental, where he would be staying.
Dr Singh will be accorded a ceremonial welcome and a guard of honour tomorrow morning before he goes into talks with President Karimov. The one-on-one talks between the two leaders will be followed by delegation level discussions.
The two countries are expected to sign several agreements in key areas at the end of the talks between the two leaders.
Dr Singh will also visit the Monument of Humanism and Independence besides laying a wreath at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Monument.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the Indo-Uzbek Centre of Information Technology, built by India in the Uzbek capital.
He will meet members of the Indian community in Tashkent in the evening.
The Prime Minister will attend a state reception being hosted by the Uzbek President in his honour late in the evening before leaving for New Delhi.
He will reach home late tomorrow night.
UNI AT MA HT2115