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Sushma Swaraj meets prime ministers of Bhutan, Bangladesh

India's External Affairs Minister met with Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and five foreign ministers on September 19 in interactions that mostly focused on bilateral issues.

Sep 19, 2017
By Arul Louis
 
India's External Affairs Minister met with Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and five foreign ministers on September 19 in interactions that mostly focused on bilateral issues.
 
External Affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar described the meeting with Hasina as a courtesy call with no substantive discussions. During the meeting with Tobgay, they discussed development projects that India is sponsoring in the Himalayan kingdom.
 
Kumar said that the recent Doklam crisis in which Indian and Chinese troops faced off in Bhutan's territory did not figure in the talks or matters relating to defence.
 
Swaraj began the day with a trilateral meeting with United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono, where she raised the issue of countries with “linkages” to North Korea's nuclear programme, a clear reference to Pakistan which had been involved in a nuclear-for-missile technology swap, but but she did not name it.
 
Asked if it was a reference to Pakistan, he noted that no names were mentioned and said her statement was emphatic and clear that “proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable”.
 
During what Kumar described as “very hectic and active day,” Swaraj attended United States President Donald Trump's summit on reforming the United Nations. Trump backed plans by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to reform the global organisation, but confined his comments to mostly the secretariat and bureaucracy, peacekeeping and the budget.
 
While India has consistently maintained that the UN needed to be reformed, it wanted a comprehensive reform that also dealt with organisations like the Security Council, Kumar said.

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