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Envoys from 15 nations arrive in Srinagar to assess J&K situation

Envoys from 15 nations arrive in Srinagar to assess J&K situation

US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster along with envoys from 14 other countries arrived by a special chartered flight at Srinagar’s technical airport where they were received by top officials.

A group of 15 foreign envoys arrived in Srinagar on Thursday for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the first visit by diplomats ever since the revocation of the state’s special status followed by its bifurcation into two Union Territories in August last year.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster along with envoys from 15 other countries arrived by a special chartered flight at Srinagar’s technical airport where they were received by top officials, PTI reported.

The envoys are scheduled to visit Jammu, the winter capital of the newly-created Union Territory, for an overnight stay. They are also expected to meet Lt Governor G C Murmu as well as civil society members.

Besides the US, the delegation includes diplomats from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, Maldives, South Korea, Morocco, and Nigeria, among others. However, the delegation will not comprise European Union envoys, who will be taken later, said sources.

According to government sources, EU envoys wanted to visit J&K as a group. It was not possible to accommodate all of them due to restrictions on numbers, and the plan to keep the group broad-based.

“We wanted to take a global group of envoys to J&K with only some EU ambassadors; not all EU envoys were asked to join,” said a government source.

Some EU ambassadors conveyed that the visit was taking place at too “short a notice to seek instructions from headquarters”, sources said. “It was, therefore, decided that a group of EU ambassadors will undertake a trip to J&K at a later date,” said the source.

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