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Transcript of Weekly Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (March 09, 2017)

March 10, 2017

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Namashkar. Good after noon to every one present here. There are those of you whom I know and who know me. I recognize many familiar faces but for those of you whom I am seeing for the first time and who are seeing me for the first time, I am Gopal Baglay, Official Spokesperson and Jt. Secretary of the XPD of the Ministry of External Affairs. I am very happy to welcome all of you to this weekly press conference. In the beginning I have few readouts and announcements to make and then we will open the floor for questions.

My first readout is regarding the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leader’s Summit, which as you know was held in Jakarta few days back.

The Vice President of India led the Indian delegation to the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leader’s Summit held on 7th March 9, 2017 in Jakarta to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the association. The Summit was preceded by the meeting of Council of Ministers and the Committee of Senior Officials.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen Dr. V K Singh (Retd.) participated in the Council of Ministers while Secretary, Economic Relations, Shri Amar Sinha led the talks at the Committee of Senior Officials.

Three documents were adopted during the summit. The first was the IORA Concorde that was signed by the leaders and that lays out the vision of IORA for the future focusing in particular on cooperation among the 21 IORA member states on maritime safety and security. The two other documents adopted were the declaration on preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism and the action plan of IORA for the next five years.

Addressing the summit, the Vice President offered to set up an IORA Center of Excellence in one of the coastal cities in India. The center is proposed to be set up with the objective of pooling of resources available with all the member states so that these can be accessed online by each member including their academics and researchers.

A network of IORA think-tanks to synergize the efforts of all member states was also suggested. On the maritime front India offered the institution of an Information Fusion Centre to coordinate Maritime Domain Awareness or MDA and also offer to extend to all member states cooperation in the field of Hydrography.

The Vice President urged all the member states to work out modalities for institutionalizing IORA cooperation mechanism on cyber security. As you know India is one of the leading players driving the IORA process, the association was revitalized under India’s chairmanship during 2011 – 2013 when based on Indian proposal six priority areas were identified. More recently India announced 12 major initiatives across a range of cross-cutting issues during the previous COM at Bali in October 2016. Four of these initiatives have already been implemented and others are expected to be completed during the course of this year.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Vice President held bilateral meetings with His Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, His Excellency Mr. Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka and His Excellency Mr. Mansour Hadi, The President of Yemen. His Excellency, Mr. Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of Indonesia and His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This completes my first read out. I have an announcement, it is regarding the visits of journalists from Africa.

As part of India’s commitment under the third Indian Africa Summit held in October 2015 in New Delhi, a familiarization visit cum workshop is being organized for 30 senior journalists, editors representing 23 African countries from today i.e. March 9 to 22, 2017. The visit program started today with a two day long 12th CII EXIM Bank Conclave which was inaugurated by Rashtrapati Ji. The conclave will be followed by an interactive workshop on writing and reporting conducted by the AJK Mass Communication & Research Center, Jamia Milia Islamia from 11 to 22, March 2017.

The program will also include visits to the offices of prominent Indian media houses and newspapers and calls on some senior officers from Government of India. The significance of this lies in that this is the first such effort where we are combining participation in the conclave together with the familiarization program for such a large number of African countries.

Now I come to my third and last announcement. This is about the release of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka.

The Government of Sri Lanka has informed the High Commission of India in Colombo that all 85 Indian fishermen currently in Sri Lankan custody will be released. We understand that the instructions in this regard to the concerned authorities in Sri Lanka have been issued. We are awaiting further orders within Sri Lanka in this regard.

This concludes my statements and read-outs. I am now open to your questions and in your hands.

Question from Sakal: Welcome Gopal. The Chinese Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi yesterday in a press conference mooted the idea of BRICS Plus countries, which means that they want expansion of BRICS and secondly he said that a tri-lateral cooperation between USA, Russia and China for the development of peace in the world. So what is your position on these two particular ideas?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As far as your first question goes about the proposal of the Chinese Foreign Minister for BRICS Plus, as you know BRICS is a very important platform. India, as you all know, chaired the BRICS Summit last year and you would also recall that every BRICS Chair has brought an outreach program when the summit or other events have been held and you would also recall the India arranges the outreach for BIMSTEC, so the BRICS chair have brought together a flavor of their own geography to the other participants. We would await details of this suggestion from the Chinese side.

As to your question about the cooperation among China, Russia and USA, as you know we ourselves engage with Russia and China both bilaterally and also in the trilateral RIC framework, we consider that as large countries in the world, we all have to consult and coordinate together and contribute to peace and development not only in the region but the world as a whole.

Question: Foreign Secretary Dr. Jaishankar while he was in the US announced that they have taken a very considered view on India’s issue on H1B visas but at the same time we saw the suspension of the premium process. Could you give us a sense of what really are the assurances that have been given to the Indian side? And on Sri Lanka, while of course the prisoners are being released, what is the view that the government is taking on the Sri Lankan Navy’s categorical denial that any shooting took place at all from their side?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Can I take you second question first because the response to that is shorter. After the unfortunate incident in which one of the Indian fishermen lost his life we reached to the highest possible levels of the Sri Lankan government in Colombo through our High Commission. Our deep concern on the killing of Indian fisherman was conveyed as you know it is a matter of deep concern for the government. The Sri Lankan government has assured us that a very thorough investigation will be conducted in the matter. So let us await the outcome of that investigation.

On your first question, I think I might have a slightly lengthy response to your question because it’s a very important issue as well. The discussions of the Foreign Secretary and the Commerce Secretary with their interlocutors in the United States last week, there was a wide ranging and strong recognition as well as respect for Indian skills and contribution of the Indian technological manpower to the US economy. It was widely agreed that the presence of Indian technical professionals had made and continues to make the United States more competitive and it is actually helping its economy.

All of us have seen the statements by senior US officials that illegal immigration and not H1B is their priority. We have also seen the President of United States himself has made a reference to merit based approach on the subject. It has been our view that the presence of skilled Indian professionals is a positive for the US economy as I just said and particularly when the US seeks to build a stronger economy. There are advantages in terms of backward linkages also as we all know.When we combine all this with our own government’s efforts for economic reforms and a high sustained economic growth, there is obviously a very important opportunity here for both countries to consolidate their economic partnership. This opportunity is there and there was a very wide ranging recognition of this opportunity in the Foreign Secretary’s talks and the Commerce Secretary’s talks last week.

The matters regarding the H1B visa itself, as we said earlier also when you heard the Foreign Secretary say this that in a sense it is a trade and business issue, it is an economy issue. You would have seen the NASSCOM statement in this regard also which essentially in substance, I don’t recall the exact words, says that the suspension of premium processing process is not a very significant impediment. We will continue to remain engaged with the US authorities in this regard.

Question: The first question is supplementary to what has just been asked about the BRICS Plus. In the media reports that have come, both Mexico and Sri Lanka have been described as pro-Beijing and we had the Mexican Ambassador tell us during a discussion that Mexico was on the side of India when it came to the NSG. Is it also the official perception that Sri Lanka and Mexico are pro-Beijing and they are bracketed with Pakistan in official thinking? The second question relates to the announcement of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang. Even the Chinese official media has used the term that the Dalai Lama actually visiting Arunachal Pradesh would be considered an act of hostility, even by the hawkish standard of Chinese official media this is a very strong term. Is there any response that the MEA has to this? Thank you.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Could I first take your second question. We have seen the media reports in Chinese media. Normally we don’t respond to media reports but since you have asked this question and it pertains to a very revered figure His Holiness The Dalai Lama, I would answer it.

Essentially, the government’s position is this regard has been very consistent, it has not changed. As you know we view him as a very revered figure, a religious figure who is treated as such by the government and people of India and we actually have no say in his travels within India and I think in our view no political meaning should be attached such travels or plans.

As for as your first question, I have a very brief answer and that is, No.

Question from New York Times: I want to ask about the case of Compassion International, an American Christian charity that has been in India for 50 years but is leaving now. Our State Department made a statement yesterday, basically saying that there have been no evidence presented as the justification for excluding this charity from India. So I would like to ask what is the new evidence that changed the government’s view of this charity’s work and how it is adjudicated? And finally the executives of the charity say that they were approached by the representatives of the RSS who offered to mediate with the government. What is the RSS role in regulating the activities of Christian charities in India?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay:
I understand that we have been in touch on this issue. You as the representative of your media organization here and I as the spokesperson of this ministry. I would recall and I would request you to recall our exchange on the electronic means in this regard. Some of the questions that you have asked now, I think I have answered them in that exchange but since you have asked here let me mention that any NGO whether it is an Indian NGO or a foreign NGO has to operate in India or for that matter anywhere in the world within the laws of the country where it is operating.We have been very transparent in this regard. The whole matter is the matter of law enforcement. It is a matter pertaining to following the laid down laws of the country and we would expect any NGO to operate within the realms of those laws. We have been very transparent, there have been meetings of the senior government officials with the representatives of the concerned NGO and we have made our position extremely clear to them as well as to anybody else who has cared to speak about it.

As far as the alleged role that you say of RSS, I have mentioned to you earlier and I will mention to the benefit of the audience here that any such suppositions are completely extraneous to the matter. Thank You.

Question: Regarding recent statement of the former Pak NSA Mohammad Ali Durrani, he made a very important statement stating that 26/11 was masterminded by a group in Pakistan, it was cross-border terror attack. He also said that Pakistan perhaps should take some firm action against Hafiz Saeed. So where do we stand on this and do you think Pakistan needs to take some firm, decisive action so that there could be conducive bilateral talks?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: What the former NSA of Pakistan mentioned and all the media reported, I think there is nothing new in what he has said. We all along have known even the people and groups in Pakistan never doubted the involvement of Pakistani entities in Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. Now it has always been the position of the government that since the whole conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and the attack was mounted from Pakistan, it is up to the government of Pakistan to fully investigate and bring to justice all the perpetrators involved in the heinous terrorist attack in Mumbai. That position of the government hasn’t changed.

As to your larger question about Hafiz Saeed and JeM etc. again we know that these terrorist organizations sometimes in the garb of charities and their numerous affiliates which carry several names are proscribed by the UN but they continue to operate in Pakistan and we would expect Pakistan to take action against these entities as mandated by the international regimes and stop cross-border terrorism and activities which these organizations and individuals have continued targeted against India. Our leadership has very clearly said that Pakistan has to walk away from terror.

Question: One is the follow up of the question from NYT, I just wanted to quote what State Department’s Spokesperson actually said. He said, unfortunately we have seen over the past couple of years a number of foreign funded NGOs in India have encountered significant challenges in continuing their operations. The entire statement is a criticism of India’s actions when it comes to Compassion, but he has also broadened it to other NGOs. So I would like to know if Indian government has any response to the US government taking this case up of a specific NGO in India. You know this is not a government NGO of the US and even so the US Government has chosen to take it up at this level and we know it has taken it up to the higher levels. So is there any response to the specific statement made by Mr. Toner?

My second question is about the United Nations Security Council. Our permanent representative there has indicated that the veto is not necessary for India’s candidacy for the UN Security Council’s permanent membership. I wanted to know if India is taking a different stand from the one it had taken in 2005 and the Foreign Minister has spoken in Parliament and said that India would not accept a membership of the UNSC without the veto?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: In responding to the question from NYT I had mentioned two important elements of our approach to the whole matter here. One is that the entities functioning in India whether they are Indian or foreign are expected to function within the parameters of the country’s law. And the second is that we have been completely transparent in this regard. We have spoken to anybody who has approached us in this regard. As to your question to response, it is not our policy to respond in public and I think you would appreciate that.

Your second question about the statement by India’s permanent representative at the UN, I think you are referring to this statement in which he said that veto need not be a veto or something like that.Let me make it clear that there is no change in the government’s position which basically is the G4 common position in this regard. The main elements of which are that there has to be an expansion of both the categories i.e. the permanent category as well as the non-permanent category membership of the UN Security Council. The new entrants to the permanent category could exercise a moratorium on their right to exercise their veto for 15 years and after 15 years there will be a review of the reforms that are undertaken. These are the main elements which pertains to your question.

Now what the Permanent Representative of India at the UN and my illustrious predecessor here mentioned yesterday was nothing else but to say that the question of veto should not become something which is made out into an impediment for protecting the much urgently needed Security Council reforms.

Question: I would like to ask about the fishermen issue again. In the previous high level talks held between India and Sri Lanka, both of them came to the consensus that open fire will not happen but now the firing has happened. Do you think this is a breach by Sri Lankan government and what is the permanent solution to this issue? If they are again breaching this agreement then what is the use of holding talks again and again?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: You are absolutely right, there is an understanding between the two governments that there cannot be any firing. If such a firing were to take place, it is completely unacceptable. In this case, as you very well know and as I have said in the beginning, the Sri Lankan Navy and the Sri Lankan Government have maintained that there has been no firing from the Sri Lankan Navy side. However they have agreed to thoroughly investigate the matter. SO let us await the result of that investigation.

It was famously and correctly said that blood and water cannot flow together, but now we have the water talks slated later this month at Lahore. Is it an indication of the things that lies ahead, is this a momentum towards restarting the talks between the two countries?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay:
Let me dwell on this in a little bit of detail. When you say blood and water cannot flow together, that is what the Prime Minister said, we must understand that there were two inherent messages in it. One was a very important message aimed at those who received it that they cannot continue terrorism against India and they have to stop it. The second message was internal within India that under the Indus Water Treaty we have to exercise all our rights to the potential, to the extent they are permitted by the treaty itself, within the treaty. So these were the two elements of that message.

Now what you describe as water talks, what I would describe if you permit to and since you have yourself been stationed in Islamabad, I would like to point out that this is a regular meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission which is a bipartisan body and trusted with the implementation of the Indus water treaty and it does so with the help of technical experts i.e. the commissioners.

Commissioners decide when to meet, in fact the treaty mandates a meeting every year alternatively in India and Pakistan. This is now Pakistan’s turn to host it and therefore the meeting is taking place. Commission implements the meeting, it’s a technical meeting and a meeting of technical experts. I do not see the connection that you are making between the various dots that you see.

We were told that India has decided to unilaterally drop the Indus Water Commission talks. So on what premise are we again restarting the talks?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: It’s not a good omen for me to openly defer with you, but in this case I would beg to disagree. I don’t think there was ever any statement from the government that we are dropping or we are cancelling any scheduled talks on water.

Question: Just a few days ago there was a two day meeting with British officials who had come. The Indian side was led by the JS (CPV) and the issues included getting back Vijay Mallya. Can you tell us what happened, what was the Indian position and what kind of assurances the British have given on Vijay Mallya? Also, we have not just seen Kansas but South Carolina and Seattle. Three attacks in three different parts of America. Now yes Donald Trump has spoken and people have called but is there a fear that these attacks are spreading?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As to your first question I think it is not appropriate for me to dwell on the details that have been discussed between the two sides, if they have been discussed, as you say, about Vijay Mallya or any particular individual.

As to your second question, I think what we need to see here is the strong engagement by the Government of India as well as by the concerned US authorities. After the very unfortunate Kansas shooting, you have seen the engagement of Government of India, we strongly took up the matter. The US Embassy issued a statement. You saw various US authorities and President Trump made a reference to the Kansas incident at an address to the Congress.

US Congress people came out with statements in this regard. There has been widespread condemnation of it. The message that we have got and the impression that we have that it has been sought to convey to us that this is an aberration. This does not represent the view of the vast majority of the Americans in anyway.

In fact, let me mention here that the Governor of Kansas has written a letter to the Prime Minister, which has been received and in the letter, while I am not at the liberty to discuss its details, but the broad sense is there is a sense of regret. There is a sense of support to the family of Mr. Srinivas Kuchibhotla. There is a sense that Mr. Srinivas and Indians like him have made a tremendous contribution into the Kansas and into the United States and that Indians are welcome.

So while I see your point that there have been these incidents but we also need to see the response at the same time. The response of the US authorities has been forthright. We will in any case continue our very strong engagement to ensure security and safety of both Indians and as well as People of Indian origin abroad, not only in the United States but anywhere in the world.

Question: It is again related the fishermen issue. Wonder about the Sri Lankan government is giving assurance about releasing Indian fishermen, they are not releasing their boats actually which is their main livelihood. And my second question is, will there be any Joint Working Group’s meeting in the upcoming weeks?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: As you know we remain engaged and we keep taking up the matter of release of boats with the Sri Lankan government. We have again raised this matter in the past few days and we will continue to raise this matter because as you rightly said this concerns the livelihood of the fishermen.As for the Joint Working Group’s meeting, I think it recently took place in January but whether it is going to take place in near future that I will have to check and come back to you.

What input does MEA has on presence of IS in India regarding entry from the countries where IS has a strong hold?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: I am afraid that you have to direct this question to some of my colleagues in another ministry or agency.

Question: Regarding that fisherman that was shot by Sri Lanka, you said that Sri Lanka has ordered a probe. Is there any time line for that probe? Another question is fishermen in Tamil Nadu are continuously protesting for last three days. They are asking assurance from Indian government, whether it is from MEA. They are asking that any such incident should not happen in future. How do you react to it?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: What the Sri Lankan government has told us about the investigation is a very categorical assurance that they will investigate it thoroughly. I would expect this would be done very very expeditiously keeping in view the gravity of the matter, the humanitarian nature of the matter and the seriousness of the situation. But you would appreciate that sitting here at this position I would not be able to put a timeline to it but we of course expect it to be done in a very expeditious manner.

As to your second question about the assurance of such incident not being repeated, I would like to point out what I mentioned few minutes ago in a response to a related question, that there is an existing understanding the Indian fishermen will not be fired upon. We hope that this understanding will continue to hold and the investigation in this particular incident will be completed soon.

Question: Meraa sawaal hai ki abhi Pakistan ne Hafiz Saeed ko nazarband kiyaa aur Bharatiya sainik Chandulal Chawan ko rihaa kiyaa. To kyaa is tarah ki sakaaraatmak stithi ban sakati hai nikat bhavishya mein ki Bharat aur Pakistan ke beech fir se baat-cheet shuru ho yaa Bharat apni us shart par kaayam hai ki jab tak aatankwaad us paar se khatam nahi hotaa hai koi baatcheet nahi hogi aur agar koi baatcheet hogi to aatanwaad par hi hogi?

Today after a long gap Indian Army and Pakistan Army resumed their interaction at the DGMO level i.e. India’s DGMO talked to his counterpart there. Is that an indication that even the civilian leadership will be in talks very soon as was speculated in media that immediately after some pause there would be talks?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: To the best of my knowledge and I had knowledge at least until the last week when I was Jt. Secretary dealing with Pakistan, the two armies i.e. the Indian army and the Pakistani army have an established institutional mechanism of regular contact over hotline between the Director General of Military Operations. They maintain this contact, they remain in touch very regularly.

It is not that they have contacted after a very long time. What has happened today is that I think that the Indian DGMO has informed his Pakistani counterpart that these two teenagers who have crossed over in September around the time of Uri attack, they would be released because no evidence has been found on their involvement in the Uri attack. So this contact between the two armies is a very much regular feature.

Aapke sawaal ka jawaab dene ke liye, dekhiye aisaa hai ki jo bhi maanviya mudde hain, hamaare machhuaare hain ya qaidi hain, Pakistan ke machhuaare hain ya qaidi hain, aap ne dekha ki pichhale kuchh dinon mein dono taraf se unki rihaai hui hai. December se shuru karein agar to Pakistan ne bhi 400 ke aas paas Bharatiya machhuaaron ki rihaai kari hai aur humne bhi 30 ke upar unki qaidi aur machhuaaron ko riha kiyaa hai. Ye maanviya mudde hain aur in maanviya muddon par dono deshon ki sarkaar, raajnaitik channels se sutron ke aadhaar par lagaataar sampark mein rahti hain, in muddon ko lagaataar address karne ke liye.

Main aapse guzaarish karungaa ki aap inko aatankwaad ke masalon ke saath sambandhit naa karein kyonki aatankwaad ek aisa masalaa hai, ek aisi bimaari hai jo ki Bharat ko hi nahi balki Bharat ke jo sabhi padosi desh hain unko bhi ye khatare mein daal rahi hai aur unki shaanti aur surakshaa ke upar iske gahare baadal mandraate rahate hain.

Hamaari Pakistan se ye apekshaa hai ki hamaare pados mein jo is aatankwaad ka kaalaa saayaa hai usko door karne ke liye woh koi naa koi kadam sunischit taur par uthaayega aur is bimaari ko jad se nikaalegaa. Is baare mein hamaare netratva ke aur hamaare vichaar aapke saamne pahle rakhe jaa chuke hain aur woh bahut clear hain.

Question: Meraa sawaal NSG aur Bharat ki membership ko lekar ke hai. China baar baar objection raise kar rahaa hai aur apne technical point par abhi bhi woh adaa hai. Saath hi China ne Bharat ko uske role ko lekar admire kiyaa hai lekin wahin par usne Pakistan ki pairavi bhi kii hai ki Pakistan ka stake banataa hai. Is par India ka kya reaction hai?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: Jaisaa ki aap jaante hain ki China ke saath Nuclear Suppliers Group par hamaare jo vichaar vimarsh aur samvaad hai woh chal rahaa hai aur aapne dekhaa hogaa ki Foreign Secretary pichhale maine jab China gaye they aur unhone ne strategic dialogue kiyaa thaa toh us dauraan bhi is par charchaa hui thi. Is se sambandhit hamaare jo Joint Secretary hain woh bhi gaye they, unhone bhi apne counterpart se iske baare mein charchaa kari thi.Dono deshon ne ek doosare ke saath bahut khul kar is vishay par baa cheet kari hai. Hum is haalat main hain ki hum ek doosari ki stithi ko samajhate hain aur hum hamaari or se aashaa karte hain ki ye samvaad hum aage bhi jaari rakh sakenge aur aage iskaa ek achha parinaam nikalega.

Question: You may be well aware that one of the Indian priest Father Tom was abducted in Yemen and more than a year has passed and the government has been saying that they have been trying their best. Is there any high level committee for the release of Father Tom? What is the latest on this?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: At this I can only tell you that we continue to make our efforts and as and when there are any specific updates, I will let you know.

Last week we see Chinese National People’s Congress Spokesperson talk about India-China relationship and when she talked about CPEC, she said that One Belt One Road initiative will benefit India also when we see this issue from a larger picture but this is how Chinese see this issue about India. In May, the OBOR summit will happen in China, the Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi said that more than 20 leaders will attend that summit. Has India decided already who will represent India in that summit?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay:
Government of India’s thrust and India’s thrust on promotion of connectivity is very clear and very obvious. We are all for promoting connectivity and because that helps to bring people together, that promotes economy and that also promotes trade.

As far as OBOR is concerned, you know that our position is that since the so called CPEC forms a part of OBOR, that is where our difficulty is. It passes or proposes to pass through what is sovereign Indian territory and we have made our views in this regard very very clear to the Chinese side.

As to your question about OBOR even in May, when that decision is taken we will let you know.

I am afraid in the given time I can take only one more question.

Question: Just a supplementary to the question about Father Tom, whenever we ask this question the standard reply for last one year has been that we are making our best efforts. At lease can we have a confirmation whether Father Tom is alive or not?

Official Spokesperson, Shri Gopal Baglay: I understand the sentiment behind your question. We continue to make very sincere efforts. In such situations you would appreciate that confirmation of somebody continuing to be alive is very important but unfortunately sometime we have to depend on the bad news, which is the good news in this case that there is no bad news. So you can only confirm that somebody is not living, you cannot confirm if somebody is alive. Basically it is that in some cases it’s the dearth of news about the demise that confirms that the person is not dead. In this case fortunately we don’t have this bad news so that gives us hope and therefore we will continue to make our very sincere efforts. Thank you very much.

This press briefing now comes to a close. Thank you all.



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