UPDATES WITH REVISED HEADLINE, LEDE; ADDS STATEMENT FROM INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - India on Friday announced that a scheduled summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe has been cancelled for now.
Abe was scheduled to arrive in Guwahati -- a city in the northeastern state of Assam, which is engulfed in violent protests over a controversial citizenship law -- on Sunday for a three-day visit.
“With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM @AbeShinzo to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future,” India’s foreign affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
Earlier, Japan’s JiJi Press had reported that Abe was mulling over canceling his visit to India, as the planned venue for his summit is marred with violent protests over the controversial law.
On Thursday, India approved a law that would grant citizenship to six minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh -- all Muslim-majority nations in South Asia.
The move triggered mass protests in India’s northeastern provinces, with Assam its epicenter. Indian authorities have imposed curfew and also snapped internet in parts of Assam and its neighboring states -- including Meghalaya and Tripura -- to halt the protests.