Swaraj leaves for China, to hold talks with Chinese, Russian counterparts

File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj | Photo:PTI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left for China on Tuesday night to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, India and China.

Her visit comes in the wake of growing tension between India and Pakistan after Indian Air Force carried out strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan in a pre-dawn operation.

She is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Russia and China and discuss the issue with them.

"Counter-terrorism on the agenda. EAM @SushmaSwaraj departs for Wuzhen, #China for the 16th Foreign Ministers Meeting of Russia, India & China #RIC. Apart from attending the trilateral meeting, EAM will also hold bilateral discussions with Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Besides the air strike, the Pulwama terror attack and the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN are expected to figure prominently at the Russia, India and China (RIC) Foreign Ministers' meeting on Wednesday.

Besides attending the annual trilateral meeting, Swaraj would also hold bilateral talks with her Chinese and Russian counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting in which the listing of Azhar by the UN's 1267 committee is expected to figure.

Besides Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, the meeting would be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kumar said.

China, an "all-weather" ally of Pakistan and a veto-wielding member, has stonewalled all efforts by the four countries by putting technical holds since 2016.

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