Swaraj speaks with French counterpart on anti-terror cooperation

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 16, 2019, 08.59 AM(IST)

File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

The External Affairs Ministry said that the French foreign minister informed Swaraj about the action taken by Paris against the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, which had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

French Foreign Minister Le Drian Friday held a telephonic conversation with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and informed her about France imposing sanctions on JeM chief Masood Azhar by freezing his assets. 

The External Affairs Ministry said that Drian informed Swaraj about the action taken by Paris against the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, which had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

France sanctioned Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets, the MEA said, days after China blocked a move to designate him as a global terrorist by the United Nations.

The MEA said the French foreign minister also informed Swaraj that France has raised the issue with the European Union. 

"He reiterated that France has always been and will always be on India side in the fight against terrorism," the MEA said.

On her part, Swaraj thanked Drian for France's "steadfast support" and said that India looked forward to continuing this cooperation on the anti-terrorism front.

The action on the part of France was an expression of partnership with India and was in consonance with the global intent by responsible nations committed to fighting against terror, including cross-border terrorism anywhere in the world, the MEA said.

France, the US and the UK had moved a proposal at the UN to designate Azhar as a global terrorist after the February 14 Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.