Amid Kashmir tensions, India will participate at SAARC meeting in New York

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Published: 20th September 2019 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2019 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, India will participate at the SAARC foreign ministers meeting scheduled to be held on September 26 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, officials said on Thursday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Officials said India will participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation foreign ministers meeting that is scheduled for September 26.

The meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA could bring Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi face to face for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

Asked about a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart as well as the future of the SAARC regional grouping, Jaishankar, at a press conference earlier this week, had said, "if and when I meet Pakistani Foreign Minister, we will see at that time what happens".

The SAARC is about regional cooperation and that refers to trade, MFN, connectivity etc.

, he had said, adding that now every member knows which country is promoting SAARC and which one is impeding it.

Last year, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the SAARC Foreign Ministers meeting, usually held on the sidelines of the UNGA.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Swaraj had told the meeting that the scourge of terrorism remains the single largest threat to peace and stability in the South Asian region and it is necessary to eliminate the ecosystem of its support.

The meeting was attended by foreign ministers of the SAARC bloc - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Swaraj had immediately left after her remarks at the meeting and did not have any exchange with her Pakistani counterpart Qureshi.

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