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Jaishankar to accompany Sushma on Beijing trip

New Delhi, Jan 30 New Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is to accompany External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on her four-day visit to China beginning Saturday.

Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “Going to China from 31st January to 3rd February. Foreign Secretary Dr.S.Jaishankar is accompanying me.”

Jaishankar, who took charge of his new post on Thursday, also met Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng here Friday and discussed the upcoming visit.

Talking to reporters after the meet, Le said: “(Am) privileged that I am the first ambassador to meet S. Jaishankar after he was appointed foreign secretary.”

He said they discussed bilateral relations and Sushma Swaraj’s visit.

“We talked about the agenda, the possible outcomes of this visit,” he added.

Jaishankar, who was ambassador to China before becoming envoy to the US, was Wednesday night appointed as the new foreign secretary. The cabinet’s Appointments Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced it was curtailing the tenure of incumbent Sujatha Singh with “immediate effect”, seven months before her two-year term was to end and appointing Jaishankar in her place.

Sushma Swaraj is visiting Beijing on the invitation of her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. She is also expected to lay the ground for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year.

The two ministers will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of concern to both sides. She will inaugurate the Second India-China High-Level Media Forum and attend the launch of Visit India Year during her stay in Beijing, said an external affair ministry statement.

She will also participate in the 13th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Russia-India-China Trilateral, and will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the meeting.

This would be the first visit by a cabinet minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to Beijing after it took over in May last year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited India in September last year.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang had visited India last year to touch base with the Modi government.

The RIC trilateral cooperation currently covers industry, trade, agriculture, emergency relief and healthcare. The RIC countries are also members of various key groupings such as BRICS and G-20.

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