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John Kerry, other foreign ministers call Sushma, discuss ties

india Updated: May 29, 2014 23:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
sushma swaraj

Since late Wednesday night, all major foreign ministers around the world, led by US secretary of state John Kerry dialled in External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

While Kerry was the first of Swaraj’s counterparts to call her , others from UK, Canada, Israel, Australia, UAE, UK and South Africa followed suit. The call with Kerry was focused on enhancing trade and economic ties to $500 billion from current $100 billion, the spokesperson in the External Affairs ministry said.

The minister briefed Kerry on India’s engagement with the SAARC countries inclu-ding Pakistan.

Both ministers are looking forward to meeting each other, the spokesperson said.

UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said that his government saw tremendous opportunities to deepen cooperation and that he looked forward to working with Swaraj. They both agreed to work out mutually convenient dates for a meeting.

Apart from Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, with whom Swaraj discussed the scope for widening bilateral trade and economic ties as well as civil nuclear cooperation, Swaraj also received a call from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, whom she invited to visit India for the next strategic dialogue. Baird underlined Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to the India-Canada partnership.

Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Liberman congratulated Swaraj on her assumption of office and invited her to visit his country.

According to MEA officials, Swaraj has accepted the invitation in principle and said that she hoped to advance bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of the knowledge economy and high technology.