Krishna drives to Sushma''s residence

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) In a friendly gesture, ExternalAffairs Minister S M Krishna today visited the residence ofLeader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to appriseher about the steps being taken by the government over killingof fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy and rehabilitation of Tamilsthere.

He drove to the residence of the senior BJP leader aftershe tweeted about her request for a meeting with him todiscuss these issues.

BJP stated Krishna was "gracious enough" to visit Swarajto allay her serious concerns on five issues including theplight of Indian students in the US, efforts being made tobring back Indians from trouble-torn Egypt, and the fate of anIndian being held hostage by Somali pirates.

Swaraj said Krishna informed her that Foreign SecretaryNirupama Rao had visited the neighbouring country to take upthe issue of killing and torture of Indian fishermen and metthe Sri Lankan President, who "shares our concern".

"The Minister also told me that a Joint Working groupthat has been constituted to sort out such issues will be mademore active to prevent recurrence of such incidents," she saidin a tweet.

The JWG of Foreign Secretaries of the two countriesalready exists but the two countries have decided toreactivate it.

Swaraj also brought up the issue of "dignifiedrehabilitation" of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Krishna assured her Rs500 Crore had been alloted for this in the last budget.

"He told me that the Government was constantly monitoringthis aspect," she said.

Incidentally, both these issues pertain to Tamil Naduwhich goes to polls later this year. Swaraj is the partyin-charge of the state.

On the "inhuman treatment" meted out to Indian studentsstudying in a "sham" university in US on whom electronicclamps were tied, Swaraj said Krishna assured her that theIndian embassy officials there were dealing with the matter.

"The External Affairs Minister told me that US has beeninformed in unequivocal terms that this is unacceptable to us.

That we do not treat anybody in this manner in India and donot expect anybody to treat Indians living outside in thismanner," Swaraj said, adding the minister was very categoricalin his views.

Krishna also told Swaraj that all efforts were being madeto bring back Indians wanting to return from Egypt,which is facing political unrest and anti-government protests.

"There are 3,200 Indian citizens in Egypt of which 650have been brought back. Three planes are waiting in Egypt tobring back those Indians choosing to come back," BJPspokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said about the informationshared by Krishna with Swaraj.

The senior BJP leader also raised the issue of threeIndians held captive by Somali pirates.

Swaraj indicated that she was satisfied with the effortsmade by the government.

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