Nurses freed in Iraq, MEA hints at negotiation with captors

Using “very unconventional methods", says MEA spokesperson Akbaruddin

shreerupa

Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | July 4, 2014



The 46 nurses who were in captivity in Iraq have been freed and an Air India flight is on its way from New Delhi to Erbil to get them back to India, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) told the media on Friday.

The flight on its return will first stop at Kochi and then come to New Delhi. A senior diplomat is on the plane to coordinate with the Kurdish authorities and the aviation department.

Calling it a "dramatic day", official MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "I can confirm to you that the nurses who were kept against their will are now freed. Indian officials had already been positioned in Erbil from Baghdad should they be released."

The 39 Indian workers are still in captivity and remain unharmed. Akbaruddin asked the media to have "hope and faith that India is doing all it can to free the workers”. He also mentioned that the conventional tools of diplomacy do not exist in such a war situation. "We are in contact using very unconventional methods," said Akbaruddin, clearly hinting at negotiation with the captors.

The MEA spokesperson also said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is in touch with a host of her counterparts. "India has substantial friends inside and outside of Iraq" who are helping the country in this difficult situation, Akbaruddin said.

Since it is Friday in the holy month of Ramadan, work has halted as regards Indian nationals in non-conflict zone moving out of Iraq. However, the flight that has gone to pick the nurses will pick up 70 other Indian nationals who wish to leave.

In all, 2,000 Indians, mostly from southern Iraq, have signed up for returning to India.

Comments

 

Other News

Stories to read over the weekend

At one time these pale rooms of the Delhi commission for women looked like sleepy corners of officialdom; they are now best described as a bustling sarkari office. The woman who transformed this moribund organisation hardly looks like a powerful leader. Dressed in casual blue jeans and loose deni

Tata Trusts, PFA to build state-of-the-art veterinary hospital

Tata Trusts and People For Animals (PFA) announced their collaboration to build a state-of-the-art, multi-specialty veterinary hospital and emergency clinic at Navi Mumbai to serve the needs of all domestic and farm animals at affordable rates.   The hospital will be built in Kala

The shot just got smarter

A long queue of women, infants in their arms, extends outside the immunisation room at the community health centre (CHC) in Bhangel village, Noida, a pink double-storey building beside a bustling market. Unmindful of the chit-chatting and baby babble, Mariamma Samuel, an auxiliary nurse-cum-midwi

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Reform first, privatise later: Bibek Debroy to railways

Before privatisation and corporatisation, the Indian Railways need to undertake major reforms including commercial accounting, decentralisation and human resource among others, said Bibek Debroy, economist and member, NITI Aayog at Railways Reforms and Governance Conclave organised by Governance Now on Fri

NTPC plans for 32 GW installed capacity via renewable sources

NTPC Ltd has raised Rs 2,000 crore through green masala bonds in overseas market under its $4 billion medium term note programme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable

Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter