Despite rising tensions with Pakistan, India will attend the SAARC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New York on 26 September. Officials said that this meeting will be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muralitharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of SAARC countries.
The South Asian Cooperation Regional Cooperation Organization (SAARC) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. External Affairs Minister Jaishankar will be meeting face to face with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a SAARC meeting after the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. On meeting with Qureshi earlier this week, the foreign minister had not given any clear answer and said that when such an opportunity comes, he will take steps according to the circumstances of the time. Last year, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended a meeting of SAARC Foreign Ministers. During this time, he had reprimanded Pakistan a lot for terrorism. Not only this, she left the meeting after her statement and did not have any conversation with her Pakistani counterpart.