Evacuation of embassy personnel from Kabul to India completed: MEA
New Delhi: India on Tuesday said the evacuation of its embassy staff from Kabul has been completed and the focus now would be to ensure the safe return of all Indian nationals from the Afghan capital in view of the prevailing situation in the country.
India has brought back the Indian ambassador and all staff members from its embassy in Kabul in two military transport aircraft in the wake of escalating tension and deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital after its takeover by the Taliban.
In a tweet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the movement from Kabul to India was a "difficult and complicated" exercise and thanked all those whose cooperation and facilitation made it possible.
"In view of the prevailing situation in Kabul, it was decided that our Embassy personnel would be immediately moved to India. This movement has been completed in two phases and the Ambassador and all other India-based personnel have reached New Delhi this afternoon," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The statement by the MEA came soon after a military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force brought back from Kabul around 150 people including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians.
Another flight evacuated around 40 staffers from Kabul on Monday.
The MEA said the immediate priority for the government is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently staying in Afghanistan.
It also requested the Indians as well as their employers to urgently share the relevant details with MEA's Special Afghanistan Cell that has been set up to coordinate evacuation.
"The main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport. This has been discussed at high levels with our partners, including by the External Affairs Minister with the US Secretary of State," the MEA said.
"Government of India is committed to the safe return of all Indian nationals and will institute flight arrangements once Kabul airport is open for commercial operations," it said.