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"We gave birth to doctors and engineers, Pakistan gave birth to terrorists": Sushma Swaraj at UNGA

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is at the 72nd annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York. She held a triateral meeting with US and Japan and met foreign ministers of Denmark, Latvia, Bhutan and Tunisia. She also met US President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, as well as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Sushma Slams Pak

We are engaged in fighting poverty, while our neighbour Pakistan is engaged in fighting us. India and Pakistan won freedom at the same time. But has Pakistan asked itself why India is perceived as the IT superpower of the world, and Pakistan as the pre-eminent export factory of terror. India has risen despite Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism. We have been a sustained democracy. PM Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship. Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer.

The number of threats and incidents endangering South Asia's peace and stability are on the rise, Sushma Swaraj said on Friday, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Swaraj, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, said regional prosperity, connectivity and cooperation can take place only in an atmosphere of peace and security.

“It, however, remains at serious risk in the region. The number of threats and incidents that endanger South Asia's peace and stability are on the rise," she said in the opening statement at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign Minister meeting.

"It is necessary for our region’s survival that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support."

Swaraj said India attaches the highest priority to the development and prosperity of the region under its "Neighbourhood First" policy.

Swaraj, earlier, underscored the need to combat terrorism in her multilateral meetings and sent a "very strong" signal to Pakistan to stop using it as an instrument of state policy.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two leaders met for the first time in a bilateral setting.

Swaraj and Tillerson, who met on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session, also discussed strengthening of the US-India political and economic partnership, officials said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with #India's External Affairs Minister @SushmaSwaraj in New York City.

— Department of State (@StateDept) September 22, 2017

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert
The Secretary thanked the Minister for India’s contributions to stability and development in Afghanistan and the region. They discussed further strengthening the US-India political and economic partnership.

Swaraj also strongly raised with Tillerson the issue of H1-B visa, the most sought after by Indian IT professionals. They also discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

"The two ministers discussed regional issues, with a focus of Pakistan, Afghanistan and terrorism," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said..

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that the five-member BRICS, which includes China, should work to end terrorism's "support systems in South Asia," making a pointed reference to Beijing's ally, Islamabad.

At a ministerial-level meeting of BRICS here, she said without naming any country: "Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia"

“Terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support must be systematically cut off,” she said sitting around the same table as China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement.”

China has repeatedly blocked efforts to put United Nations sanction on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, who India says is the mastermind of the 2016 terrorist attack on the Pathankot air force base. It has also protected Pakistan from action for protecting those under UN sanctions.

“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” Sushma Swaraj told the ministers from also other BRICS members, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. “They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.”

On North Korea's recent offensive military posturing, Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said: "The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern."

She also appealed for joint efforts to reform the International Monetary Fund, where decision-making is still tilted towards major western industrialised countries, and the UN Security Council.

China is opposed to Council reforms that would enlarge the UN's highest decision-making body, especially if it would give India and permanent seat, while Russia has been lukewarm.

Turning to climate change, she suggested an alliance between International Solar Alliance and the BRICS Development Bank.

"I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months," she said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called on Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and discussed issues of mutual concerns, situation in the region and bilateral ties.

"Boosting strategic partnership with a special friend,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Swaraj is unlikely to have a bilateral meeting with her Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif.

Sushma Swaraj also spoke at the G-4 Foreign Ministerial Meeting.

Continuing with her hectic diplomatic engagements, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from six countries, including Brazil and Saudi Arabia, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session.

"Strengthening strategic partnership between India Brazil, Sushma Swaraj meets Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted

India and Brazil are part of the G4 countries, apart from Japan and Germany, which are seeking permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council.

Following this, Swaraj also met Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

"Enhancing relations based on centuries old economic & socio-cultural ties. Sushma Swaraj meets with Saudi Arabian counterpart in New York," Kumar said in a separate tweet.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday spoke at the Leadership Summit on Environment Pact, presided by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Living in harmony with nature and sustainable patterns of consumption is central to our ethos. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that the protection of environment and mother planet is an article of faith for us,” Swaraj said at the summit.

“India will continue to work on this above and beyond the Paris Agreement. Our commitment is for the future generations,” she added. “ We are ready to work closely with UNSG and relevant UN agencies, especially in the context of the International Solar Alliance,” she concluded.

Sushma Swaraj announced an aid of 200,000 USD to countries worst affected by recent hurricanes at the India-CARICOM (Caribbean Community) ministerial meet.

SushmaSwaraj on Tuesday met Norway's Foreign Minister Borge Brende as well as her Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met with her Mexican counterpart Dr Luis Videgaray Caso.

Following the meet, the MEA handle tweeted that the meeting boosted historically close and warm relationship.

Sushma Swaraj at NAM Committee Meet.

Speaking at the Ministerial Meeting of NAM Committee on Palestine, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause. She added that India’s support for Palestinian people and their cause is ‘historical’. She also added that India’s commitment to the Palestinian cause can never be undermined.

EAM Sushma Swaraj
For independent India, support for the Palestinian cause has been a reference point of its foreign policy. During PM Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year, we reiterated the need for a just and durable peace in the region.

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson stated that the meeting with Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina was not to discuss the Rohingyas.

Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with the Bangladesh PM was a courtesy meeting and the issue of Rohingyas did not come up during it.

The Ministry of External Affairs also met with US President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

EAM had a meeting with Ivanka Trump. Discussions were held over visit her to India for the Global Entrepreneurs Summit and women’s empowerment.

Trump also tweeted about the meet, stating that she has respected “charismatic and accomplished” Swaraj for a long time.

Sushma Swaraj met the UAE Foreign Affairs Minister and discussed measures for attracting more foreign investment to India.

In her meeting with Bahrain foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj held discussion on regional issue, specially situation in the Gulf.

“Issues of maritime security, connectivity and proliferation were discussed at trilateral meeting between India, US and Japan”, stated the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Connectivity was discussed, how to base them on universally recognised international norms, prudent financing, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

North Korea’s recent aggressions and nuclear tests were also discussed at the meetings.

Ministry of External Affairs deplored North Korea’s recent actions and stated its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved must be held accountable.

Sushma Swaraj met the Foreign Minister of UAE, Bahrain and Denmark on Monday.

External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj met Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in New York on Monday.

At the UN, India talked about the challenges of peacekeeping in Kashmir while tackling terrorism. India reiterated that “Jammu and Kashmir is an intregral part of India”.

Pakistan’s unsolicited comments pertaining to Indian state of J&K are factually incorrect and misleading. It is high time for Pak to do deep introspection and focus energies on improving human rights situation and dismantling terror infra-in Pak and PoK.

Indian representatives at the UN also said that “PoK is run by a deep state and has become an epicenter of terrorism”, stating that there is evidence to suggest cross-border support to terrorism.

Pakistan has been the face of international terrorism. Even Pakistan Foreign Minister admitted that internationally banned outfits including LeT, JeM are operating from within Pakist. It must shutdown its terrorist manufacturing units and bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice
Concrete evidence on cross-border support for terrorist attacks in J&K has been handed over to Pakistan.

EAM Sushma Swaraj met Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the Tunisian Finance Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui on the sidelines of the UN meeting.

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Sushma Swaraj.
Tunisian Finance Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui and Sushma Swaraj.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attends India-Japan-US trilateral meet with her American and Japanese counterparts Rex Tillerson, and Taro Kono respectively.

The Ministers emphasised the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes. the MEA said.

The ministers also talked on the initiatives that needs to be taken to improve connection, prudent financing and respect for sovereignty. The three Ministers directed their senior officials to explore practical steps to enhance cooperation.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region.

China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea.

Responding to a question about what kind of pressure can be put on North Korea to curtail its nuclear ambitions, Tillerson said, "We'll have plenty of opportunity to talk about that with many, many of international leaders. I think the UN Security Council resolutions speak for themselves, a unanimous view of what's needed for North Korea to correct its situation."

Sushma Swaraj was received at the airport by the Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna and India’s permanent Representatives to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin. A number of meetings are lined up for the minister on 18 September to kick off her official engagement at the UNGA.

She would kick off her official engagement later on Monday with a trilateral meeting with US and Japan.

Aimed at lending momentum to cooperation between the three countries, the meeting assumes significance amid China flexing its muscles in the region.

In a day jam-packed with consecutive meetings, Swaraj will also participate in a high-level meeting on UN reforms, hosted and chaired by US President Donald Trump.

India is among the 120 countries which have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary General.

She is also scheduled to meet Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and her Bolivian counterpart Fernando Huanacuni Mamani.

The focus of the meetings are going to be on issues of climate change, terrorism, people-centric migration and peacekeeping. Akbaruddin earlier said that Swaraj will also participate in a special panel of selected countries by the UN Secretary General on climate action.

(With ANI and PTI inputs.)

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