Indian embassy in Kabul not closed: Govt sources

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): The Indian embassy in Kabul is not closed and local staff are providing consular services, government sources said on Tuesday, adding that as many as 1,650 people have applied to return to India.

Earlier today, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that the Ambassador and all other India-based personnel in Afghanistan reached New Delhi.

In a statement, MEA noted that a number of Indians are stranded in that country, some of whom are employed by third country organizations.

"Our immediate priority is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently in Afghanistan. They and/or their employers are requested to urgently share the relevant details with MEA's Special Afghanistan Cell," MEA said.

On the issue of visa services for Afghan nationals, the MEA stated that visa services will continue through an e-Emergency visa facility. "As regards Afghan nationals, our visa services will continue through an e-Emergency visa facility, which has been extended to Afghan nationals," MEA said.

It also added that India has already received requests from Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leaders, and are in touch with them.

The ministry further said 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 EAM with the US Secretary of State. 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." (ANI)

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