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SAARC summit: Terror, trade talks top on agenda

Issues to be taken up at the summit include economic uplift to reduce poverty, combating terrorism and development challenges.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2005 03:40 IST

Trade accords would be high on the agenda of the 13th SAARC summit here where leaders of the seven-nation grouping, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, would focus attention on issues of terrorism, poverty alleviation and initiating regional collaborative projects.

Outlining the goal of the summit scheduled for November 12-13, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said Dhaka wanted to make the grouping "truly effective".

He said issues to be taken up at the summit include economic uplift to reduce poverty, combating terrorism and development challenges.

"Combating terrorism is a task that South Asia needs to pursue relentlessly," he said and expressed hope that the summit will provide an opportunity to revisit the issue to fine tune the grouping's response to address this major problem.

SAARC groups India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Three accords are likely to be firmed at the two-day summit -- Establishment of a SAARC Arbitration Council, Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters and a Limited Multilateral Treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation.

Indian officials, including Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday to participate in the SAARC Standing Committee of Foreign Secretaries (Nov 9-10).

This would be followed by the meeting of the Council of Ministers (November 11) with India being represented by Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahamed.

India would be tabling a number of new proposals at the meet with a view to usher in the third decade of SAARC and to augment cooperation in sectors like education, textiles, civil aviation, health care and sports.

First Published: Nov 09, 2005 21:39 IST