MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar addressing reporters during his weekly briefing
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar addressing reporters during his weekly briefing

MEA says foreign envoys tour was not guided, EU ambassadors may visit Kashmir later

ANI | Updated: Jan 09, 2020 21:31 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 9 (ANI): The External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that ambassadors from European Union did not become a part of the group visiting Jammu and Kashmir as they perceived that it was a guided tour and added that more visits by envoys will be organised to the union territory.
"The EU ambassadors didn't go because they believed it was a guided tour. We wanted this group to be broad-based. There were restrictions on numbers as in you cannot take too large a number when you are moving and organising a meeting. This means that subsequently, we'll organise several such visits to the J&K," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly media briefing.
He was answering queries on reports that European Union diplomats refused to be part of the foreign delegation visiting J&K.
A group of 15 foreign envoys, from the United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Guyana, visited Kashmir on Thursday to see first-hand the efforts made by the government to "normalise situation" after scrapping of Article 370 in the region in August last year.
"We wanted this group to be of a 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," Kumar added.
The spokesperson also stated that this tour was organised at very short notice. "Ambassadors are aware at this point of time about the threat perception from terrorists. We kept this aspect in mind while designing the programme," Kumar said.
The foreign envoys met security officials and other civil society members in the Valley. (ANI)

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