United Nations, Aug 20 : France has rescued some Indians trapped in Afghanistan and taken them to Paris, according to India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
He told reporters here on Thursday, “I thanked the French Foreign Minister (Jean-Yves Le Drian) yesterday because as part of what France did, they also took back some Indians to Paris.”
“I think that was the right thing to do,” he said.
The priority for India is repatriating Indians stranded in Afghanistan that has been taken over by the Taliban, he said.
He said that India was in contact with the United States on bringing home Indian from Afghanistan because it controls the Kabul airport.
India has flown in some people from Afghanistan on Air Force planes.
He said, “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 United States because they control the airport,” he added.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, ruled out the United Nations taking control of the international airport in Kabul, which now serves as the main gateway for repatriations.
“I don’t think we have the capacity to run the airport. We can cooperate, obviously, with all the parties, if our presence is considered useful, but to think the UN can run the airport in the present circumstances, knowing what our presence is on the ground is, of course, I think not realistic,” he said at a separate briefing for reporters.
One of the conditions that the Taliban will have to fulfil before there can be international recognition is enabling the evacuation “without problems those people that would be in danger,” he said.
US President Joe Biden, who rushed thousands of troops to control the airport, has said that he would consider having them stay beyond the August 31 deadline if needed to complete the evacuation of US citizens.