Centre invites non-member G20 nations, foreign NGOs to Srinagar

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LG Manoj Sinha to chair Tourism Working Group meeting

Srinagar, 12 May (CNI) :India has invited delegates from six to seven non-G20 member countries, five to six foreign based Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Tourism Secretaries from 12 States/Union Territories which have large potential of tourism to attend G20 pre-summit on Tourism Working Group (TWG) in Srinagar from May 22-24.

Significantly, some Islamic countries are among the non G20 foreign nations whose representatives have been invited for the pre-summit to send strong message to China and Pakistan which are opposing holding of meeting in Srinagar.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha will address the international delegates and brief them on tourism potential and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir besides other issues.
Union Minister for Tourism GK Reddy and Union Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh will also attend the meeting on May 23 which is scheduled to be held at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) Srinagar.

Official said that all non-G20 countries and foreign NGOs which have been extended an invitation by the Central Government for attending Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar have given their consent to participate in the biggest ever international event in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370.

Non-member G20 countries invited to the meeting will also facilitate tourism in Jammu and Kashmir besides sending message of their friendship with India.
While Pakistan is not a member of G20, China has boycotted G20 and Y20 meetings in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh and is unlikely to attend Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar. Pakistan had also approached some Islamic nations not to attend three-day Y20 pre-summit in Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh but all these nations sent their representatives for the meeting.

Apart from non-member foreign nations and NGOs, the Government has also invited Tourism Secretaries of 10-12 States/Union Territories for G20 meeting in Srinagar. The Government feels that representatives of these States/UTs would also help in promotion of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said all major G20 nations except China have confirmed their participation in the Srinagar meeting.

Union Tourism Minister GK Reddy and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh will join the meeting on May 23.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has been monitoring all arrangements for G20 meeting in Srinagar to ensure its complete success.
Only yesterday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla had reviewed security situation and other arrangements for G20 meeting in Srinagar.
About 100 international delegates and 50-100 Indian members will take part in the meeting.

“In Srinagar, delegates will be taken on shikara ride in Dal lake, and they will also be treated to cultural programmes at Sher-e-Kashmir Convention Centre. Later, they will go to Gulmarg where they will take gondola ride,” sources said.

In Gulmarg, there will be a technical session on promotion of film tourism.
Representatives of various States, film industry, producers and others will be there and those from States will share their film tourism policies.
The meeting will be a significant one as the ministerial communique that will be issued after the last TWG meeting in Goa will be finalized there which will be called ‘Goa Declaration’.

Two Tourism Working Group meetings have taken place so far. The first one in the Rann of Kutch, followed by the second one in Siliguri. The third Tourism Working Group meeting will take place in Srinagar, from May 22 to 24.

The TWG meeting in Jammu and Kashmir will be an important one, because there the Goa declaration will be finalized”, which will be the Ministerial communique that will emerge from the G20 discussions, the sources said.

Sources said “The foreign NGOs invited to the meeting have been working in different fields including tourism, their representation in the G20 meeting will help boost tourism in Jammu and Kashmir in future as they too will spread a message along with G20 member and non-member nations that there is peace in the Union Territory including the Valley which will encourage tourists from abroad to visit J&K. ” (CNI)

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