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    Envoys from 16 nations, including US, on two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir starting today

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    US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster will be among envoys of 16 countries who will undertake a two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir starting Thursday, officials said.

    The Delhi-based envoys will fly to Srinagar on Thursday morning before going to Jammu, the winter capital of the newly created Union Territory, for an overnight stay. They will meet Lt Governor GC Murmu as well as civil society members, they said.

    Besides the United States, the delegation will include diplomats from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, Maldives, South Korea, Morocco and Nigeria, among others.

    Brazil’s envoy André Aranha Correa do Lago was also scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir. However, he backed out because of his preoccupation in Delhi, the officials said on Wednesday.

    According to the officials, the envoys travelling on Thursday will meet civil society members and receive a briefing on the security situation from various agencies.

    The officials said the envoys of a number of countries had requested the government for a visit to Kashmir to get a first-hand account of the situation prevailing in the Valley following the abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370.

    The move is a part of India’s diplomatic outreach to rebut Pakistan’s propaganda against it on the Kashmir issue.

    This will be the second visit of a foreign delegation to Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre’s move to revoke the state’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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