Sushma begins bilateral interactions at UN, meets Nepal Foreign Minister

United Nations: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj began her hectic round of bilateral interactions on the sidelines of the annual high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday meeting the Foreign Ministers of Nepal, Morocco and Lichtenstein.

Although it was not a formal meeting, she greeted Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when she came to the UN, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.

Sushma Swaraj and members of the Indian mission began the day by paying respects to the Indian flag at the UN before her scheduled participation in the High-Level Event on Counter-Narcotics convened by US President Donald Trump.

Sushma Swaraj and Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, the Foreign Minister of “close neighbour” Nepal, “took stock of our bilateral relationship” at their meeting, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

She also held a bilateral meeting with Federica Mogherini, the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

They “discussed issues related to trade and investment and exchanged views on the regional and global issues”, Kumar said in a tweet.

He noted that India and the EU were bound by a “strategic partnership based on common values of democracy, freedom and rule of law.

“Celebrating 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations” Sushma Swaraj and Lichtenstein Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick “exchanged views on enhancing bilateral relations in trade and investment, particularly through participation at Indian trade fairs and tourism,” Kumar tweeted.

On relations with Morocco, he noted that they stretched back to the time of Ibn Battuta, the 14th century explorer, and tweeted that Sushma Swaraj and “Morocco Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita discussed strengthening cooperation in areas of commerce, pharma, cyber security, defence and culture”.

Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to speak in the afternoon at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit honouring the birth centenary of the South African freedom fighter and president.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, her hectic schedule is expected to include a total of 30 one-on-one meetings with about 30 leaders and participation in several multilateral meetings, according to Dinesh K. Patnaik, the Joint Secretary, United Nations Political.