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Kuwaiti emir accorded ceremonial welcome

President APJ Abdul Kalam received the emir, who along with a high-profile business delegation arrived on Wednesday evening.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 12:45 IST

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who is on a six-day visit to India, was Thursday accorded a ceremonial welcome on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace.

President APJ Abdul Kalam received the emir, who along with a high-profile business delegation arrived on Wednesday evening. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior cabinet ministers were also present.

During the day, the emir will hold delegation-level talks with the Indian side led by Manmohan Singh. Kalam will host a banquet in the emir's honour Thursday evening.

Officials said two agreements - on double taxation and legal cooperation in civil and trade issues - would be signed during the emir's visit, which includes a trip to Mumbai.

Talks are expected on a bilateral pact on labour between the two sides. Kuwait hosts over 500,000 Indian expatriates, and bilateral trade stands at $700 million annually, excluding oil.

The emir will also address a joint meeting with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the three leading business bodies in the country.

Meetings are scheduled with Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, opposition leader LK Advani and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The emir arrived in India from Thailand where he took part in celebrations to mark 60 years of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne.