Sushma Swaraj to attend UNGA session, meeting with US Secretary of State next on cards

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is all set to take part in the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session and will be holding a high level meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Subsequent to the trilateral meeting, Sushma Swaraj will represent India at a UN reforms meeting convened by US President Donald Trump. The minister has five other meetings scheduled at the UN 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.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose hectic international diplomacy has focused on bilateral meetings and visits, will miss the UNGA session again this year, leaving Sushma Swaraj as the standard-bearer. The trilateral meeting follows last week’s joint statement by Modi and Shinzo Abe during the Japanese leader’s visit to India where they pledged to strengthen trilateral ties with the US.

For the US and Japan, North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are high priority issues with Pyongyang provocatively sending a missile over Japan last week. Modi and Abe in their joint statement condemned North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes. The three countries also share concerns over China’s aggressive regional actions.

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