Efforts on to bring back Indians from Yemen

Efforts on to bring back Indians from Yemen

Efforts on to bring back Indians from Yemen

The Indian government was making its best efforts to bring back the 4,000 Indians stranded in Yemen, and 400 of them were evacuated by sea on Monday, the external affairs ministry said.

Minster of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh would also be reaching Djibouti on Tuesday to oversee the operations.

"We have previously made three announcements requesting Indian nationals to leave Yemen as soon as possible," ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

"However, approximately 4,000 Indians remain in the conflict zone. We have launched a national endeavour to ensure their safe return," he added.

He said 400 Indians were evacuated from Aden by sea.

"As a first today (Monday), 400 Indian nationals are being evacuated from Aden by sea route. We are utilising the services of a local craft which will move these Indian nationals from Aden to Djibouti," Akbaruddin said.

The spokesperson said that in Djibouti, the government was stationing five diplomats, including three senior officials of the ministry, to assist in the efforts.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, the Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (retd) V.K. Singh will be flying to Djibouti to oversee the operations from there," he added.

The spokesperson said the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force would also be deployed for the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, navy officials said two ships, destroyer INS Mumbai and stealth frigate INS Tarkash, have left Mumbai for Yemen.

Defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said two C17 Globemaster aircraft of the air force would fly to Djibouti on Tuesday to bring back the stranded Indians.

Air India has also stationed two flights in Muscat. These will be utilised as appropriate given the circumstances that are evolving in the region.

Akbaruddin said Indian ship INS Sumitra was also in the region.

"Its services will also be utilised to ensure the safety of Indian nationals who will be repatriated or evacuated by sea."

"Also, the Indian Navy is pressing into service two additional ships, INS Mumbai and INS Tarkash. This morning, in addition, two passenger liners with a total capacity of 1,100, one with a capacity of 700 and another with a capacity of 400, have left Indian waters and are travelling towards Yemen. It will take them four to five days to reach there and their services will be utilized as appropriate," he said.

Asked whether India had any plans of intervention in the region, diplomatically or politically, the spokesperson said the first priority of a government is to ensure the safety of its nationals.

"We are focussed on that right now. All other issues are not primary to our quest to ensure the safety of our nationals. After that come all our goals in terms of foreign policy," he added.

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