We are just like tourists in Kashmir: Foreign Envoy Frank

Mubashir Bukhari

Srinagar (NVI): One of the 25 foreign envoys, who began visit to Jammu and Kashmir today, said  they were “just as tourists” in the valley.

 “Kashmir is a beautiful place. We are here just as tourists,” Dominican Republic Ambassador Frank Hans Dannenberg told media persons here.

Frank Hans Dannenberg is among 25 diplomats who arrived in Srinagar for on the spot assessment of the situation post abolition of Article 370.

Others in the delegation  include European Union Ambassador Ugo Astutu, German Ambassador Walter Johannes Lindner, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain,  Czech Republic Ambassador Milan Hovoraka, Austrian Ambassador Brigitte Oppinger Walchshofer and Slovakian Ambassador Ivan Lancaric.

Mexican Ambassador Federico Salas Lotfe, Danish Ambassador Freddy Svana, Italian Ambassador Vincenzo de Luca, Netherlands Ambassador Marten van den Berg, Namibian High Commissioner Gabril Pandureni Sinombo, Kyrgyzstan Ambassador Asein Isaev, Uzbek Ambassador Farhod Arziev, Hungarian Ambassador Gyula Petho and Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel are also part of 25 member delegation.

Others who landed in Srinagar include Tajik Ambassador Rahimzoda Sulton, Bulgarian Ambassador Elenora Dimitrova. Guinean Ambassador Fatoumata Balde, Ugandan High Commissioner Akello Dina Grace, Kenyan High Commissioner Wily Kipkorir Bett, Rwandan Charge de Affairs Joseph Kaba Keza, Polish Charge de Affairs Robert Dzie Dzic, Afghan Charge de Affairs Tahir Qadiry and New Zealand Charge de Affairs Graham Morton.

“It is fantastic to come here and see how things are working.  I am happy to be here”, said Danish Ambassador Freddy Svana.

On their arrival, the members of delegation were taken on a Shikara ride in the famed Dal Lake. During their stay, the envoys will be going to North Kashmir’s Baramulla where they would be interacting with fruit growers and students at skill center. The delegation will also meet the civil society members and politicians in Srinagar. The diplomats will also be briefed by the Army about the situation on the LoC and in hinterland

“We are here to get a firsthand account of the situation. While coming here, we came across people who were going to schools. Shops were also open,” said Afghan Charge de Affairs Tahir Qadiry

This is for the second time in the last one month when foreign diplomats were brought to Kashmir.  On January 10, Centre facilitated the visit of over 15 foreign diplomats to the valley for on the spot assessment of situation post abrogation of Article 370.

Last month, envoys of 15 countries including United States Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh and Peru had visited Jammu and Kashmir.