Jaishankar, Blinken discuss situation in Afghanistan

Jaishankar, Blinken discuss situation in Afghanistan

New Delhi has been coordinating with the US for operating the evacuation flights from the capital of Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Credit: Reuters photo

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, discussed the situation in Afghanistan during a phone call on Saturday.

Jaishankar and Blinken discussed “a broad range of shared priorities, including continued coordination on Afghanistan and in the United Nations”, Ned Price, the spokesperson of the US State Department, said. They agreed to remain closely coordinated on shared goals and priorities to deepen the US-India partnership.

This was the third call between Jaishankar and Blinken after the Taliban militants marched into Kabul on August 15 after occupying many provincial capitals in a swift blitz across Afghanistan. “Spoke to US Secretary of State @Secblinken. Continued our discussions on Afghanistan. Also exchanged views on the agenda of UNSC (United Nations Security Council),” Jaishankar tweeted after his phone call with Blinken.

Read | Taliban prepare to set up new Afghan government

India is currently a non-permanent member of the UNSC and held the rotating presidency of the council for the month of August.

New Delhi has been coordinating with the US for operating the evacuation flights from the capital of Afghanistan. The Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has been under control of the troops of the US and its NATO allies. India also coordinated with the governments of Tajikistan, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Iran for using their airports and airspace for securing transit and overflight permissions for its evacuation aircraft, which avoided the airspace of Pakistan.

Though India could evacuate most of its citizens willing to leave Afghanistan, some were still left in the country, where the Taliban’s swift blitz led to the collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s government in Kabul. The ones still left in Afghanistan included about 20, who could not reach the airport to board the aircraft that left for India nearly 12 hours before the twin explosions near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday killed over 100 people and made the US and others pause evacuation.

The US and some other foreign nations resumed operating evacuation flights from the airport in Kabul on Friday. New Delhi, however, has not done so yet.

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