India says it 'firmly stands by' Iraqi govt, people

India says it 'firmly stands by' Iraqi govt, people

India says it 'firmly stands by' Iraqi govt, people

India today said it "firmly stands by" the Government and people of Iraq in their fight against "international terrorism" while expressing serious concern over the safety and security of its nationals in the violence-hit country.

Strongly condemning the violence, the government said it was "deeply concerned" with deteriorating security situation in Iraq resulting out of recent attacks and taking over of some cities, including Mosul and Tikrit, by terrorist outfits since June 8.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said "the safety and security of the Indian nationals currently in Iraq remains a matter of serious concern for the Government of India."

The government had yesterday asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the "precarious" security situation and advised people not to travel to the country.

Terming the attacks as a "direct threat to the security and territorial integrity" of Iraq, the MEA said India remained strongly committed to "emergence of a stable, peaceful, united and democratic Iraq" which is in the interest of regional and global peace.

"The Government of India strongly condemns such attacks and firmly stands by the Government and the people of Iraq in their fight against international terrorism and in their efforts to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the friendly country of Iraq," it said.

The Indian Embassy in Baghdad has already set up a a 24- hour helpline to offer assistance to Indian nationals there. Over 10,000 Indians are estimated to be currently living in Iraq.