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Italy may lift J&K travel advisory

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | July 01, 2005 00:43 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister's request on Thursday on the possible withdrawal of the adverse travel advisory, which so far barred Italians from visiting Kashmir, has found favour with the Italian government.

New Delhi-based Italian ambassador Antonio Armellini on Thursday evening met Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed at his residence and indicated that his country is considering withdrawal of the adverse travel advisory to its citizens, warning them against visiting Kashmir.

Armellini is presently on a five-day visit to the Valley and is accompanied by embassy officials.

The ambassador, according to an official statement, showed keen interest in tourism and told Sayeed that Kashmir is very well known in Italy and people from that country would definitely love to visit the place.

He said the improvement in the ground situation will positively affect tourism in Kashmir.

The chief minister informed the visiting ambassador that European Union diplomats have been visiting Kashmir and acquainting themselves with the improvement in the situation.

He said recently a group of about 12 tourist operators from England had come to Srinagar and were appreciative of the improvement in the situation.

They assured that they will persuade their country to lift the adverse travel advisory in view of their first hand impressions of the situation.

The ambassador also discussed with Sayeed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the backdrop of the ongoing peace process and confidence building measures taken by India and Pakistan to address the Kashmir imbroglio and improve bilateral relations.

Sayeed outlined measures to rebuild the damaged infrastructure and restore normal activities, especially in sectors like education, health and tourism.

EU countries had issued a blanket no visit travel advisory to its citizens beginning mid-1990's following a spate of kidnapping and murders of foreign tourists in Srinagar.

Also read: The Road to Peace

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