Japan PM Abe’s Visit Deferred to ‘Mutually Convenient Date’: MEA

On Friday, 13 December, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the proposed visit of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India had been deferred to a “mutually convenient date in the near future.”

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Earlier in the day, Japanese media had reported that the prime minister was considering cancelling his trip to India, a Reuters report said.

Abe was scheduled to visit India from 15-17 December, in what would be the sixth bilateral summit with PM Narendra Modi to consolidate the relations between the two countries.

On 12 December, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in response to questions on the visit that they did not have "any update to share", according to PTI.

Last week, Kumar announced that the summit between PM Modi and Abe will take place between December 15 and 17. Though the government has not announced the venue for the summit, preparations were underway to host it in Guwahati.

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Assam has been witnessing massive protests in the last two days with thousands of people hitting the streets defying prohibitory orders to demand scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

At least two persons died due to bullet injuries on Thursday after police opened fire on protesters in Guwahati. On Wednesday, protesters had pulled down hoardings erected in central Guwahati to welcome Abe, PTI reported.

Bangladesh Minister Cancels Visit

This news comes close on the heel of Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen cancelling his three-day visit to India, which was supposed to begin on Thursday.

A statement released by the Bangladeshi government said the foreign minister decided to cancel his trip given “increasing demand” at home, according to PTI.

But PTI quoted diplomatic sources and said Momen cancelled his trip over the situation arising out of the passage of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.

"I had to cancel my trip to New Delhi as I have to participate in the 'Buddijibi Debosh' and 'Bijoy Debosh' and more so as our State Minister is out of the country in Madrid and our Foreign Secretary is in The Hague," Momen said, according to PTI.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters.)

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