Sushma Swaraj arrives in NY for UNGA session

Sushma Swaraj arrives in NY for UNGA session”

"They are known to say hello to each other and exchange pleasantries at these multilateral forums", an official said on background, "but no structured bilateral meetings have been lined up with China or Pakistan". India is among the 120 countries who have extended their support to the UN Secretary General's reform efforts.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached United States in the wee hours of Monday morning (IST) to attend United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in NY.

Swaraj will address the UNGA on September 23.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose hectic worldwide diplomacy has focused on bilateral meetings and visits, will miss the UNGA session again this year, leaving Sushma Swaraj as the standard-bearer.

The external affairs minister has 15-20 bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA, including one with her U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson, an official said. The trilateral meet assumes significance as China is flexing its muscles in the region to establish its dominance.The Indian side has climate change, terrorism, migration and peacekeeping on agenda this year.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with a high-powered Indian delegation, will hold almost 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with world leaders in the United States over the next seven days.

In a preview of the Swaraj's engagements at the United Nations and her meetings here, Akbaruddin said that issues of climate change, terrorism, people centric migration and peacekeeping are other key focus areas for India this year.

The minister has five other meetings scheduled at the United Nations for Monday with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and with foreign ministers Khemaies Jhinaoui of Tunisia, Anders Samuelsen of Denmark, Edgars Rinkevics of Latvia and Fernando Huanacuni Mamani of Bolivia.

Syed Akbaruddin, the Indian Ambassador to the United Nations, in an interaction with Indian reporters ruled out a bilateral meeting between Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart.

On the topic of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, and specifically, designating Masood Azhar a global terrorist, Akbaruddin had said that India would not rest until the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief is brought to justice. "There are some of them where we are working for several years and there are some where we hope to have an outcome this year", Akbaruddin said. The meeting will be hosted by the United States and will be presided over by US President Donald Trump.

The General Assembly also comes just over a fortnight after North Korea conducted its sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test.

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