Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to begin SAARC Yatra with Bhutan

Written by: IANS
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New Delhi, Feb 25: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will begin his 'SAARC Yatra' with his first visit to Bhutan March 1, followed by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

SAARC Yatra: Jaishankar to visit Bhutan
According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, "Foreign Secretary will, in accordance with the prime minister's directives, be undertaking the first phase of the SAARC Yatra as per the following schedule: March 1, Bhutan; March 2, Bangladesh; March 3, Pakistan and Afghanistan March 4."

"The schedule for the other destinations is being worked out through diplomatic channels and will be indicated separately," he said in a statement.

Jaishankar will travel to Pakistan on March 3, seven months after India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks.

"In accordance with the Prime Minister's directive, will be undertaking a SAARC Yatra to all South Asian countries including Pakistan in March," Spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said.

In an ice-breaking move earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif after which it was announced that Jaishankar will visit Islamabad when he will "push bilateral agenda".

Using cricket diplomacy, Modi called leaders of four SAARC nations which, along with India, are participating in cricket World Cup. He conveyed best wishes to their teams.

Thereafter, Modi announced that Jaishankar will undertake a "SAARC yatra" soon to strengthen relationship with them.


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