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Leaders of India, Pakistan to Meet at South Asia Summit

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan are set to meet on the sidelines of a South Asian summit in Colombo Saturday, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

It will be the highest-level meeting between the two sides in 15 months.

Relations between the nuclear-armed countries have been strained by clashes on their disputed Kashmir border and a July bomb attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in which 41 people died.

India has accused Pakistan's spy agency of involvement in the Kabul attack - a charge Pakistan denies.

Meanwhile, India's foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee says during their two day summit in Sri Lanka, members of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation are set to adopt a treaty aimed at combating cross-border terrorism. 

He said they also plan to launch a $300 million development fund and a South Asian University.

Trade, food security and energy shortfalls also are on the agenda.

But Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday criticized the agenda, saying it falls far short of what the group should be doing.

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

Iran will participate at the summit for the first time.  Iran was admitted as an observer at the last summit in New Delhi.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will join the ministers or representatives of the other five observers, including the United States, European Union, China, Japan and South Korea.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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