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SAARC SUMMIT 2010: Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday said t he bilateral meeting cannot be ruled out

."I am not ruling it out," Krishna said when asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani during his visit here for the SAARC summit to be held on Apri l 28 to 29. Eight nations SAARC meeting of heads of government,Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhut an, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attending the Summit.The Summit will adopt a declaration - "Towards a Green and Happy South Asia", focusi ng on the problems relating to environment and climate change.First official pos sible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan here. Observing that heads of states and governments are going to be under the same ro of for the next couple of days for the multilateral meeting, the minister said t here will be a number of bilateral meetings during the period."Let's wait and wa tch, how things are going to work out," he said, adding "all bilateral issues be tween India and Pakistan will be discussed as and when the Prime Ministers meet" . When asked about Pakistan's request seeking the testimony of the magistrates who recorded the confessional statement of Mumbai attack accused Ajmal Kasab, Krish na said he was yet to examine the matter.Krishna said he has received the dossie r containing the request late last night but he was yet to go through the same.M aintaining that Kasab's trial was in advanced stage in India, he said it was goi ng on in full steam."We have to complete our legal formalities first and then we can examine Pakistan's request for the same," he said, adding, the matter will be examined in consultation with other ministries and departments. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in New Delhi on Monday to discuss a relationship seen as key to regional stability.The forei gn ministry in New Delhi said on Saturday that Singh hoped the meeting would str engthen the nations' "strategic partnership". The talks would be an "opportunity for India to express its firm commitment and support to the government and peop le of Afghanistan," it added.Karzai's office said the agenda would focus on "the war on terror and other bilateral issues".PM Manmohan Singh and Afghan Presiden t Hamid Karzai as the two leaders met ahead of the SAARC summit.“India remains c ommitted to assist the people of Afghanistan. We discussed the issue of terroris m which threatens our region,” Singh said after talks with Karzai in New Delhi o n Monday. Karzai, who is in New Delhi on a two-day visit before going to Bhutan to attend the SAARC summit beginning 28th April, said he and Singh discussed the situation in Afghanistan and “our common struggle against terrorism and extremism.” “We discussed the upcoming Afghanistan Peace Consultations which should comprise people of Afghanistan, those from all walks of life to advise on how to move fo rward for reintegration and reconciliation of those elements of Taliban and othe rs who have accepted the Constitution or not part of the Al Qaeda or any terrori st network,” Karzai said.Speaking about the attack on Indians in Afghanistan, he said, “I expressed my sympathy and condolences of Afghan people at the cowardly attacks on the Indian construction workers, the medical staff and the (Indian) embassy in Kabul.” He also conveyed his gratitude to India for helping in the reconstruction of Afg hanistan.Singh said, “I had an extremely productive discussion with Mr. Karzai a nd discussed a whole range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. I look forward to working with Mr. Karzai” Themed ‘Environment and South Asia,’ the journalist summit begins at 6:00 pm tod ay at Zhiwaling hotel with the prime minister, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley, as th e chief guest.More than 300 journalist to cover SAARC Summit about ninty journal ists and media personnel from south Asia have arrived in Paro to attend the fift h SAARC journalists’ summit, which Bhutan is hosting for the first time and will

take place alongside the 16th SAARC summit.The highest number of delegates for the conference are from Pakistan, with 24 media personnel, followed by 18 from I ndia. Bangladesh and Nepal have 14 each, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka 10 each and s even from Maldives. More than 30 media officials and journalists from Bhutan wil l be attending the conference, which is being organised by the south Asian free media association. The leading glaciologist in India, professor Syed Iqbal Hasna in, will deliver the keynote address on ‘Melting Glaciers and the Future of Sout h Asia’ tomorrow. Eight nations SAARC meeting of heads of government, Afghanista n, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attend ing the Summit.The Summit will adopt a declaration - "Towards a Green and Happy South Asia", focusing on the problems relating to environment and climate change .First official possible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakist an here. Foreign secretaries of the eight-member regional grouping are meeting i n Bhutan to reach a common economic and development goal.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the 16th SAARC summit, the foreign secretaries of the eight-member regional grouping began their meetin g in Thimpu on Sunday to consider the fineprint of two draft agreements on trade and environment expected to be signed at the summit on April 28-29.At Sunday s SAARC standing committee meeting, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said, "In this 25th year of SAARC, we can take satisfaction from the fact that SAARC has evolve d into a service provider for the economic and development needs of the people o f the region."Claiming that the regional grouping has achieved significant succe ss, Rao said, "valuable progress has been achieved in developing a regional fram ework of cooperation in areas such as environment, energy, agriculture and rural development, food security, health, trade and transportation."Bhutan has propos ed a summit declaration entitled " Towards a Green and Happy South Asia" and a s eparate ministerial declaration on climate change. The summit is also expected t o discuss the pertinent issue of crossborder terrorism in South Asia. Maldives P resident Mohamed Nasheed has this morning departed on an official visit to Bhuta n to attend the Sixteenth SAARC Summit. President Nasheed is also accompanied by First Lady Laila Ali. The Sixteenth Summit of the Heads of State and Heads of t he Government of members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation wil l be held from 28 to 29 April in Thimphu, Bhutan.While attending the Summit, Pre sident Nasheed will meet with leaders of other SAARC member countries on the sid elines of the Summit to discuss the Maldives’ relations with their countries and other important issues of regional interest.Speaking to the press at Male’ Offi cial Jetty, before departure this morning, President Nasheed noted that SAARC ne eded to play a more active role in addressing the regional issues. He said durin g the Summit, he would work with other leaders of SAARC to further strengthen an d expand the role of the organisation within the region.After concluding his vis it to Bhutan, President Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali will begin a state visi t to China, on 1 May. Peoples SAARC’, an assembly of civil activists from South Asia, gathered at Jawaharlal Nehru University for a two day conference entitled ‘Assembly towards Union of South Asian Peoples’.Civil activists from the region just days before the summit hosted Peoples SAARC, an assembly in India to forge a strong South Asian identity, and collaborate for peace and development.