India’s efforts at evacuating its nationals from Iraq continued to yield results with the rescue of two nurses from the conflict zone.
“The two nurses are now in Karbala which is a safe place. We are facilitating their tickets and they will soon be returning home,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
As for the 46 nurses trapped at a hospital in Tikrit, he said the government was in touch with them. “This is a difficult situation, it’s a zone of conflict not under the control of Iraqi authorities,” he said.
However, Mr. Akbaruddin denied that India was “in the dark” regarding the status of the 39 Indian nationals in captivity near Mosul. “For those sceptics who think we are in the dark about them, we are not, we again have confirmation from multiple sources that they remain in captivity but are unharmed, we will continue to follow this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that India would explore all options to evacuate its nationals stranded in conflict zones.
“We are looking into all options. All suggestions are on the table. We are trying our best for the safety of every Indian in Iraq,” the Home Minister said.
In view of the tenuous security situation in Iraq, India has called a meeting of its envoys in West Asia on Sunday.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was personally monitoring the situation in Iraq, the Ministry informed.
“She has now summoned all Indian ambassadors in the Gulf to Delhi… There will be a meeting of these ambassadors in Delhi on June 29… We are exploring every option… Every effort is being made,” Mr. Akbaruddin said.
“The ambassadors have been summoned in order to understand the complexity of the situation we are facing… both in Iraq and in the region generally,” he said.
When asked about the Home Minister’s statement on using all options to evacuate Indian nationals, he said Indian efforts continued at every front. “While it is not for me to elaborate on what the Home Minister has said, I think the statement is self-explanatory,” Mr. Akbaruddin said.