Blinken discusses Afghan situation with Jaishankar 2nd time this week

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Antony Blinken & S. Jaishankar (Photo: IANS)

By Arul Louis

New York– US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed the situation in Afghanistan with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for a second time this week, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Price said that when the two leaders spoke on Thursday, they agreed to continue coordination in Afghanistan.

Blinken and Jaishankar last spoke on Monday, a day after the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Jaishankar was in New York for two days of UN Security Council programmes on protecting peacekeepers and fighting terrorism and was leaving the city on Thursday.

He told reporters at the UN that getting Indians trapped in Afghanistan was the Indian government’s priority and US controls Kabul airport, the main gateway out of the country.

“The immediate issue that we are looking at is really the repatriation of our nationals, in the case of India. India’s nationals, other countries have their concern.

“We are working with international partners in this regard, especially, principally the US because they control the airport,” he added.

After his call on Monday, Jaishankar tweeted that while discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan he “underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul. Deeply appreciate the American efforts underway in this regard”.

Blinken got in touch with several Foreign Ministers on Thursday to discuss the Afghanistan situation, according to Price.

He had a videoconference with the Foreign Ministers of the G7 countries — the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada — and Joseph Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

“All leaders underscored the imperative of safe passage for those who wish to leave Afghanistan and the need for an inclusive political resolution that protects the fundamental human rights of all Afghans,” Price said.

They also discussed counter-terrorism, humanitarian efforts, and refugee migration, he added (IANS)

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