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Foreign minister S Jaishankar heads to Hungary, Poland, Russia

This comes ahead of the UN General Assembly session next month where India suspects Pakistan may try to internationalise the issue.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 24, 2019, 09.40 AM IST
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Agencies
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Earlier this month, Poland—the current UNSC chair—had refused Pakistan’s request to admit Kashmir on the Security Council agenda. The Poland visit on August 28-29 will be the first by an Indian foreign minister in 32 years.
Paris: Foreign minister S Jaishankar is embarking on a trip to Hungary, Russia and Poland on Sunday even as India seeks backing for its recent moves on Kashmir. This comes ahead of the UN General Assembly session next month where India suspects Pakistan may try to internationalise the issue.

After spending two days in Hungary, sources said Jaishankar will be in Moscow on August 27-28, marking his first trip to Russia as minister. Jaishankar had begun his career in the Indian Foreign Service from Moscow, the Russian capital which will hold the monthly UNSC rotating chair next month.

While in Moscow, Jaishankar will help in preparing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vladivostok in the first week of September.

The External Affairs Minister and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take stock of preparations for the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister to Vladivostok to participate in the 5th Annual Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest and the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit between the two countries. External Affairs Minister and Lavrov will also discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest.

External Affairs Minister will meet Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. Both of them co-chair the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission – Technical & Economic Cooperation.During his visit, External Affairs Minister will also participate in Valdai Discussion Club interaction on the theme of India's perspective of the Indo-Pacific.

Earlier this month, Poland—the current UNSC chair—had refused Pakistan’s request to admit Kashmir on the Security Council agenda. The Poland visit on August 28-29 will be the first by an Indian foreign minister in 32 years.

In Hungary, where he had once served as deputy ambassador, Jaishankar will address the Hungarian Ambassador's Conference on Monday, the sources said.

In the current geo-political situation, India is keen to expand its presence not only in Western Europe but also in the Central European region, and Jaishankar's visit will be a step in that direction, the sources said.

India has played an important role in the 1956 uprising in Hungary. According to a foreign ministry document, India’s intervention along with the Soviet Union saved the life of Arpad Goncz, who subsequently served as President of Hungary between 1990 and 2000. India was Hungary’s largest greenfield investor in 2014 and the third largest in 2015. Among the Indian companies present there are Apollo Tyres, SMR Automotive, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Orion Electronics Ltd., Sona BLW, Cosmos and IT firms TCS, Wipro, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra.

During the Cold War era, Indo-Polish relations were good, with regular high-level visits (five VVIP visits from India —beginning with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s in 1955—and four from Poland), coupled with planned trade and economic interactions by state trading organisations, underpinned by the rupee clearing arrangements.

During this period, significant exchanges continued in defence, science and technology, and culture, according to an MEA document. The relationship continued to remain close after Poland chose the democratic path in 1989. Poland is India’s largest trade partner and export destination in the Central European region, with bilateral trade growing almost seven-fold over the last ten years.

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