According to a ministry spokesperson, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay. There were five Foreign Ministers in interactions that chiefly focused on bilateral issues.
Raveesh Kumar described the meeting with Hasina on Monday as a courtesy call with no substantive discussions. During the meeting with Tobgay, they discussed development projects that India was sponsoring in the Himalayan kingdom.
In reply to a question, Kumar said that the recent Doklam crisis in which Indian and Chinese troops faced off in Bhutan’s territory did not figure in the talks or matters relating to defence.
Sushma Swaraj began the day with a trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono, where she raised the issue of countries with “linkages” to North Korea’s nuclear programme, a clear reference to Pakistan which had been involved in a nuclear-for-missile technology swap, but she did not name it.
Asked if it was a reference to Pakistan, Kumar noted that no names were mentioned and said her statement was emphatic and clear that “proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable” and it was for reporters to interpret it.
During what Kumar described as “very hectic and active day,” Sushma Swaraj attended US President Donald Trump’s summit on reforming the UN.