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India seeks to reinvigorate regional ties at South Asia summit

Indian PM Narendra Modi (L) looks on during a ceremony to donate a helicopter to the Nepalese government alongside his Nepalese counter part Sushil Koirala (R) in Kathmandu, November 25, 2014South Asian leaders met in Kathmandu Wednesday with regional superpower India seeking to boost trade and reinvigorate ties in the face of growing Chinese influence in its backyard, hampered by its bitter rivalry with Pakistan. The leaders of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are meeting for the first time since the election of a new government in New Delhi that is taking a more assertive stance on both China and Pakistan. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold his first talks with Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani on the summit’s sidelines on Wednesday, as New Delhi seeks to develop its involvement in a country that Pakistan considers part of its sphere of influence.

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