Sushma to take up Masood veto case with Chinese minister

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New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is likely to take up with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi China’s veto against India’s move in the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohamed chief Masood Azhar.

Sushma Swaraj and Wang are to meet in Moscow later this month on the sidelines of the RIC (Russia, India, China) foreign ministerial meeting on April 18.

The talks between the two would help add urgency to the ongoing discussions between India and China on the issue, which has caused disappointment in India.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup, answering questions at a media briefing here on Thursday, said that India has taken up China’s veto “at a high diplomatic level”.

“Our conversations with the Chinese on this issue are ongoing and further action will depend on the outcome of those conversations,” he said.

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On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said the issue has been taken up with the Chinese at a “fairly high level” and that it has to be pursued in the UN context.

India’s move to get the January 2 Pathankot airbase terror attacks mastermind, Masood Azhar, banned by the UN was last week rebuffed for the second time by China, a close friend of Pakistan.

India approached the UN in February to include Azhar in the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list, in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, in which seven Indian security persons were killed.

However, China asked the UN sanctions committee to keep on hold the move, saying that Azhar did not meet the UN criteria to be banned as a terrorist.

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India has voiced disappointment at the “technical hold” put on its application to include Azhar in the UN sanctions list.

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