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South Asian Leaders Vow To Step Up Fight Against Terror


South Asian leaders have vowed to increase efforts to fight terrorism in a joint declaration released at the close of a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC.

The leaders, most of whom are facing violent insurgencies, said they would step up efforts to fight all forms of terrorism, including financing, drug trafficking and illegal arms trade.

The declaration also allows terror suspects to be easily extradited.

On other matters, the SAARC summit agreed to establish a South Asian University, based in India, but with campuses in other countries as well. Members also agreed to set up a development fund for infrastructure projects and a regional food bank for emergency shortages.

Leaders from eight South Asian nations, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka gathered in the Indian capital, New Delhi, for the two-day summit designed to promote trade and fight terrorism.

The eight countries represent nearly one-quarter of the world's population, but account for only two percent of global economic output.

For the first time, this year's summit includes observers from China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and the United States. SAARC members also accepted an application to admit Iran as an observer.
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