Afghanistan crisis: US, India closely coordinating efforts

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed the chaotic situation in Afghanistan for a second time this week and agreed to continue their close coordination over the matter.

Taliban’s sudden victory, which comes as the US withdraws from the country following a 20-year brutal war, has sparked chaos at Kabul’s airport, from where America and allied nations are trying to safely evacuate thousands of their citizens and allies.
India on Tuesday rushed back home its ambassador Rudrendra Tandon and staff from the embassy in Kabul in a military transport aircraft.
Blinken spoke with Jaishankar over the phone on Thursday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar discussed Afghanistan and agreed to continued coordination,” Price said in a readout of the call.
“Productive call with @DrSJaishankar today (Thursday) about Afghanistan. We agreed to continue our close coordination,” Blinken tweeted after the call.

Blinken and Jaishankar last spoke on Monday and discussed the situation in the conflict-torn country. During their call, Jaishankar “underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul.”
The main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of the Kabul airport.
On Thursday, Jaishankar said that India is working with international partners, principally the US, in bringing stranded Indian nationals back home from Afghanistan.
 Jaishankar said this while addressing reporters at the UN Security Council stake-out after chairing the Security Council briefing on the ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’, held under India’s current Presidency of the Council.
In response to a question, he said on the issue of “where we go on from now” with the Taliban in control in Afghanistan, he said: “the immediate issue that we are looking at is really the repatriation of our nationals. In India’s case, India’s nationals, other countries have their concerns.”
“We are working with international partners in this regard, principally the US, because they control the (Kabul) airport,” Jaishankar said.

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