Sushma Swaraj’s state visit to Bulgaria & layover at Iran

India has quite strengthened her stance on counterterrorism after the recent attacks in Pulwama, Kashmir and the cowardly act was claimed by a Pakistan based terrorist organisation, Jaish-e Mohammed (JEM). The terror attack has caused massive unrest both domestically as well as internationally, as countries have offered their condolences and urged states to stop providing ‘safe haven’ to such terrorist organisations. A similar attack followed the previous day in Iran, again a Pakistan-based terrorist group, Jaish-Al-Adl claimed full responsibility. The two nation’s paramilitary forces were targeted and it pretty much invokes anger and anguish in the two countries.

The Minster of External Affairs, Sushma Sawarj has embarked on a three day meet to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain, from 16th-19th February, 2019. She made a stop over in Tehran, where she met the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Syed Abbas Aragchi, to discuss various issues on terrorism and combating such crimes in the future. Terrorism has become a global issue and combating it with single-handedly at the global level, isn’t quite favourable. Thus, India and Iran will now be closely cooperating towards counterterrorism, as indicated by Aragchi’s twitter handle as he mentioned, “Enough is Enough!”. Both Swaraj and Aragchi discussed dealing with terrorism first at the regional level and then further moving onto the international dimension. The United Nations Security Council too has condemned the act marking it as a ‘threat’ to international peace.

Sushma Swaraj discusses issues of mutual interest with her Bulgarian counterpart/Image: MEAIndia

After landing in Bulgaria, EAM Sushma Sawraj headed to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. This also marks the first state visit of the EAM in Bulgaria and it is a follow up of the state visit made by the President Ramnath Kovind, last year. Sawraj and her counterpart Ekaterin Zaharieva held delegation level talk to further deliberate on matters holding significance to the Balkan nation and India. The relation between the two countries which dates back to almost the 8th Century, today stands at a bilateral relation where their economies are heavily interconnected. Matters relating to agriculture, economy, IT, tourism, pharmaceuticals and all matters leveraging soft power were talked about thoroughly. Zaharieva also mentioned of Bulgaria’s intention to increase trade with India which now currently stands at 22%, much lower than the other trading partners of Bulgaria.  

The EAM has also expressed her satisfaction over the talk and promises a better relation with Bulgaria.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Arijita Sinha Roy

Arijita Sinha Roy is a former Associate Editor at The Kootneeti.

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