Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted from Mosul

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh was sent to Iraq to trace the Indians days after the Iraqi PM announced victory in the fight to liberate Mosul.

Published: 23rd July 2017 08:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2017 08:43 PM   |  A+A-

Sushma Swaraj | Reuters

By PTI

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will hold extensive talks with her Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari tomorrow during which focus is expected to be on the issue of 39 Indians kidnapped by the ISIS three years back from Mosul city.

Al-Jaafari's visit from July 24 to July 28 to India comes two weeks after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of Mosul, the second biggest city in his country, from the ISIS, which marked a major milestone for the Iraqi security forces.

In their talks, the two sides will to take stock of bilateral relations and explore ways to enhance cooperation in areas of energy and trade.

Iraq has been one of the major suppliers of crude oil to India.

On the visit by al-Jaafari, the external affairs ministry has said the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

"The visit is expected to add further impetus to our mutually beneficial bilateral engagement," the MEA had said on Friday.

As liberation of Mosul brightened chances of information about the kidnapped Indians, Swaraj, in a meeting with their relatives last week, had said that they might be languishing in a jail in Badush in northwest of Mosul where fighting was going on.

However, a media report from Badush yesterday said the jail now is an abandoned structure and has been unoccupied for weeks.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh was sent to Iraq days after the Iraqi PM announced victory in the fight to liberate Mosul.

Swaraj had told the family members that an Iraqi official quoting intelligence sources had told Singh that the kidnapped Indians were deployed at a hospital construction site and then shifted to a farm before they were put in a jail in Badush.

She had said al-Jaafari may bring fresh information about the kidnapped Indians, mostly from Punjab.

The volume of bilateral trade in 2016-17 was nearly USD 13 billion.

"Iraq contributes significantly to India's energy security and is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to us (over 37 MMT during 2016-17)," the MEA has said.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is also scheduled to meet the Iraqi foreign minister who will be accompanied by a senior-level official delegation.

Al-Jafaari will travel to Mumbai on July 26 and will be back in Delhi on July 27.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp