New Delhi, July 24: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday his Iraqi counterpart Dr Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jafari to further intensify efforts to locate 39 Indians taken hostage by the ISIS terrorist group in Mosul in 2014. It was reported that Sushma Swaraj was set to raise the issue of 39 missing Indians in Mosul during her meeting with Iraq’s Foreign Minister. The External Affairs Minister will make statement on 39 missing Indians at 5PM today in Parliament.Also Read - MS Dhoni Joins Team India in Dubai For T20 World Cup Campaign as Mentor
With Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister, the search for the 39 missing Indian labourers is expected to gather momentum. Ahead of the bilateral meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Dr Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jafari, Iraq on Sunday said search operations are still on for 39 missing Indians, who were held captive by ISIS, and there is a “high level of coordination” between the Indian and Iraqi authorities to “locate” them. Also Read - India vs Nepal Live Streaming SAFF Championship Final 2021 in India: When And Where to Watch IND vs NEP Live Stream Football Match Online on Discovery+, JIOTV; TV Telecast on Eurosport
Earlier, Sushma Swaraj had said that with the freeing of Mosul on July 9 from the ISIS militants the process to trace and rescue the missing Indians would be taken forward. She said they had information that the Indians were in a jail in Badush. Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh was sent to Erbil in Iraq to pursue the matter. She has met the families of the 39 persons around a dozen times since they were abducted in June 2014 and assured them that the government is doing everything to locate them. Also Read - India Slips to 101st Rank in Global Hunger Index 2021; Behind Pak, Bangladesh and Nepal
Besides the missing Indians, the Iraqi Minister and Sushma Swaraj are to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, reported IANS. He is also to meet Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and later call on Vice President Hamid Ansari. He will leave for Mumbai on Wednesday.
The bilateral trade between the two amounted to $13 billion in 2016-17. Iraq also contributes significantly to India’s energy security and is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to India (over 37 MMT during 2016-17). Thousands of Indians visit Iraq annually for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.