As concern mounted for safety of Indians stranded in Iraq, government today decided to monitor the situation on an hourly basis and explored possibility of ground-level cooperation with Iraqi authorities to assist its citizens in violence-hit areas of the oil-rich Gulf nation.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was "monitoring and reviewing" the situation in Iraq and issued directions to hold a "crisis management meeting" to review all aspects of the assistance that can be provided to the Indian nationals there.
Secretary East in the Ministry of External Affairs Anil Wadhwa met the Iraqi Ambassador Ahmad Tahsin Ahmad Berwari and both of them discussed the possibilities of ground-level cooperation in assisting Indian nationals in violence affected areas.
"Events in Iraq have been high on the agenda of the Ministry of External Affairs today. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has herself been monitoring and reviewing the situation on a regular basis.
"In accordance with her instructions, the Embassy of India in Baghdad is providing us updated reports on their contacts with the Indian nationals in the affected areas," the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
He said government was monitoring the situation on an hourly basis.
Official sources said the Indian Mission in Baghdad was in touch with the Iraqi government and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to ensure the safety of all Indians stranded in the violence-affected areas of that country.
Around 46 nurses are stranded in Tikrit, besides nearly 40 other Indians in Mosul. Insurgent outfits have seized the two cities .
The Spokesperson said Swaraj had asked Wadhwa, who is in-charge of the Gulf region, to hold a crisis management meeting. MORE