Leaders begin Arriving in Kathmandu for 18th SAARC Summit


Kathmandu, Nov 25: The leaders of SAARC nations have started arriving in Nepal's national capital to attend 18th summit where several agreements among nations are likely to take place. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for whom the Nepalese are eagerly waiting to welcome, will arrive between 3 pm and 3.30 pm.

Presidents of Sri Lanka and Afghanistan - Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai - have arrived here for the event. Bhutan Prime Minister, Tshering Togbay, has also arrived to attend the summit.

President Rajapaksa landed at around 10.15 a.m. local time, while President Ghani arrived at around 11 a.m. Both were received by Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), reports the Kantipur Online web site.

Soon after his arrival, President Rajapaksa flew Lumbini in a Nepal Army chopper to offer prayers at Mayadevi Temple, said to be the place where Lord Buddha was born over 2500 years ago. He will also take part in other programmes in the district before returning to Kathmandu later today.

The President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen is expected to arrive shortly.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to arrive at 3.35 p.m., while Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected at 4.15 p.m.

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