Updated: February 20, 2020 6:20:50 pm
Three days after denying British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams entry into Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said that there is a “sustained campaign” from her side against India.
“She came here without a valid visa so we sent her back badi izzat se (with due respect) from Delhi Airport. We believe that her statements and ideology are anti-India. There is a sustained campaign from her side against India,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said while addressing the media.
Government sources had Tuesday said Abrahams’ e-business visa was revoked as she was involved in anti-India activities, and the cancellation was conveyed to her on February 14. Asserting that the grant, rejection or revocation of a visa or electronic travel authorisation is the sovereign right of a country, the sources had said that Abrahams was issued an e-business visa on October 7 last year and it was valid till October 5, 2020, for attending business meetings.
Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s scheduled India visit on February 24, the MEA said that there will be discussions on several matters concerning India and the US between Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We are eagerly waiting for President Donald Trump‘s visit, it will strengthen our global strategic ties. There is strong cooperation between India and the US on counter-terrorism. We hope this cooperation will strengthen. There will be talks on regional issues,” Kumar said. “In Delhi, both leaders will pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat, which will be followed by delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at Hyderabad House.”
On President Trump’s plan from the day of his arrival, Kumar said that it will have three legs — Ahmedabad-Agra-Delhi. “This will be US President Trump’s first visit to India. It will be his 5th meeting with PM Modi in 8 months. There are three legs to the US President’s visit- Ahmedabad-Agra- Delhi,” he added.
Speaking on the US President’s ‘Namastey Trump’ event, Kumar said, “US President Trump will land in Ahmedabad around noon, from there he will go to Motera Stadium to address the ‘Namaste Trump’ event. The route from the airport to the stadium, we expect a large number of people will line-up”.
He said that the event is being organised by the Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti in Ahmedabad, which is taking all decisions on whom to invite.
Kumar also addressed the US President’s comments that India does not treat the US well. “It is important to understand the context in which remarks were made. The context was the balance of trade. Efforts have been made to address concerns,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held a high-level meeting at Gandhinagar and reviewed the final preparations for President Trump’s roadshow in Ahmedabad.
Kumar also addressed the situation of Indian nationals who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and are quarantined on the cruise ship Diamond Princess off the Japanese shore. “There are 132 crew members and six passengers of Indian national who were onboard cruise ship Diamond Princess that was quarantined off the coast of Japan. As per the latest information, there are 8 Indian nationals who are infected with the coronavirus. They are being treated at local hospital,” he said.
Kumar also said that the Indian government will be sending an aircraft with medical supplies to Wuhan in solidarity with China fighting the virus. “The government of India has decided to send an aircraft consignment of medical supplies on a relief flight to Wuhan and this a small way to express our support to China as it continues to fight against COVID-19 epidemic,” Kumar said.
“On its return journey, the aircraft will bring in Indian nationals who couldn’t board the first two flights. Those interested to come back have been asked to contact our Embassy. Subject to capacity limitations and other logistics, we’ll accommodate nationals of other countries as well,” he added.
He also said that there is no ban on travel to or from China in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
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