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PM arrives in Colombo

world Updated: Aug 01, 2008 14:14 IST

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Colombo on Friday to attend the two-day SAARC summit beginning on Saturday during which terrorism is expected to figure prominently.

Singh was received by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake on his arrival at the Bhandarnaike International Airport in Colombo.

During his three-day stay in Colombo, Singh is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the summit and is likely to convey India's concerns over the recent spurt in cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations.

The two-day summit will consider a regional framework for cooperation in tackling terrorism amid India's keenness for having a legal mechanism for effectively dealing with the menace.

India maintains that terrorism was a common threat which needs to be dealt collectively by all the SAARC nations. New Delhi contends that a crime-free atmosphere was essential for the growth of all the countries of the region.

On the eve of his visit to Colombo, Singh pitched for cooperation among SAARC member countries to face the "common challenges".

"Today, there is a realisation amongst SAARC countries that it is only by cooperating within SAARC that we will be able to strengthen ourselves individually and as a region and address the many common challenges that face us," he had said in a statement.

Referring to the 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi last year, Singh had said the member states of the grouping had agreed to move the regional body from a "phase of declaration to a phase of implementation and action".