Amid the fast unfolding situation in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of state Antony Blinken discussed over the phone the crisis in the war-torn country. It was the second phone call between the two officials since the Taliban takeover early this week. According to US State Department, the two agreed to continued coordination on Afghanistan. The call comes as several countries including the US and India are evacuating their citizens from the country.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar discussed Afghanistan and agreed to continued coordination,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a short statement. Meanwhile, Antony Blinken has termed the phone call with Jaishankar as “productive”.
On Tuesday early this week, Jaishankar said he spoke to Blinken over the latest developments in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s future is hanging in balance as the country’s government collapsed on Sunday soon after president Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul. The Taliban entered the presidential palace in the Afghan capital on Sunday and declared its victory over the government.
Efforts are being made to maintain stability in Afghanistan. However, thousands of people are rushing to the airport to flee the nation as they are afraid of the terror group’s brutal atrocities in the nation. In recent days, Blinken has had phone calls with several counterparts around the world including Chinese FM Wang Yi and Russian Sergey Lavrov to develop a consensus on the volatile situation in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar, during a press conference following a UNSC meet in New York on Thursday, said India is following the events in Afghanistan “very carefully” and the focus is on ensuring the security and safe return of its nationals who are still in the war-torn country. He also said that the situation in Afghanistan is “really what has been very much the focus of my own engagements here, talking to the UN Secretary General, the US Secretary of State and other colleagues who are here.” “At the moment we are, like everybody else, very carefully following developments in Afghanistan. I think our focus is on ensuring the security in Afghanistan and the safe return of Indian nationals who are there,” he added.