Envoys' visit is to see first-hand efforts to normalise the situation in Kashmir: MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 09, 2020, 05.15 PM(IST)

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Photograph:( ANI )

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The envoys represented the United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, and Guyana.

The Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said that a group of 15 foreign envoys have arrived in Srinagar for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He was addressing the weekly press conference.

The envoys represented the United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, and Guyana.

Surprisingly, no envoy was representing the Russian Federation, considering their firm stance which respects the issue as being an internal affair of India.

This is the second visit of foreign dignitaries to Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. In October 2019, 23 Members of European Parliament had landed in Srinagar on a two-day visit to examine the situation on the ground.

Unlike the last visit, there was no representation from Europe, to maintain the group in such a way that it was both manageable as well as diverse.

When asked about this, Raveesh Kumar replied saying that "We wanted this group to be of manageable size and make it broad-based representing different geographical regions. When we approached them they welcomed the decision. Our understanding is that they wanted to visit in a group. You're aware, on many issues they take group position. The invitation wasn't sent to all members because it would have made the delegation too big."

The envoys would involve themselves in meetings with security officials to get a sense of security situation in J&K, and also the threat posed by terrorism in maintaining peace. The spokesperson said that the "objective of the visit was the envoys to see first hand the efforts which have been made by government's to normalise the situation."

In other news, questions were also being raised regarding the situation in West Asia. The spokesperson reassured that India's position on the US-Iranian tensions was to maintain a prolonged peace and continued security, in efforts to stabilise the region, which considering its socioeconomic value is very important to India.

The United States has in the past permitted the operation of Chabahar port in Iran, which was jointly developed by India. The port connects India to Afghanistan via Iran and therefore plays an important role in improving the war-torn region's stability.