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Omar urges EU to rescind adverse travel advisories

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
March 01, 2009 21:33 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah has urged the European Union Commission to use its influence for withdrawing the adverse travel advisories issued against visiting Kashmir.

A delegation of the EU commission led by Daniele Smadja, head of the European Union Commission, met the chief minister in Srinagar and had a 90 minute long interaction with him.

Other members of the Commission included Lars-Olof Lindgren, ambassador of Sweden, Bruce Bourdon, political counsellor, embassy of France, Ion dela Riva, ambassador of Spain and Jan Kreuter, deputy head of the mission in embassy of the Czech Republic.

The chief minister urged the Commission members "to use their influence for withdrawing the travel advisories for Jammu and Kashmir issued by some European countries as the situation in the state had significantly improved."

Abdullah highlighted the importance of tourist industry in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir and urged the EU Commission to work for sending more tourists to the state both for conventional and adventure tourism.Various foreign governments have advised their nationals not to visit Kashmir because of the prevailing situation here.

Kashmir has been the favourite international tourist destination for ages, but because of the militancy many countries have asked their citizens to avoid visiting Kashmir. Referring to the recently held assembly elections, Omar Abdullah said that "people of Jammu and Kashmir have reposed their faith in democracy and their participation in large numbers in the electoral process has put great responsibility on the government to come up to their expectations."

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar