Blinken, Jaishankar hold ‘productive’ talks on Afghanistan

Washington/New Delhi, Aug 20: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held ‘productive’ talks on Afghanistan on Thursday and both sides agreed to continue their close coordination on the issue.
Blinken in a tweet said: “Productive call with @DrSJaishankar today about Afghanistan. We agreed to continue our close coordination.”
Separately, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price in his briefing said that the US Secretary of State had spoken with Jaishankar and ‘Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar discussed Afghanistan and agreed to continued coordination’.

The talks between Blinken and Jaishankar came two days after the two foreign ministers had spoken on the phone.
On Tuesday, the EAM in a tweet said he had discussed the Afghanistan situation with the US Secretary of State and underlined the urgency of restoring commercial operations at Kabul airport, which were suspended on Monday.
On Thursday after the ministerial briefing on counter terrorism at the UN Security Council, chaired by India, Jaishankar said that India is working with international partners to repatriate its citizens from Afghanistan and is working closely with the US in this regard ‘because they control the airport (in Kabul)’.
“The immediate issue that we are looking at is really the repatriation of our nationals; in India’s case Indian nationals and for other countries they have their concerns. And we are working with international partners in this regard, especially principally the US, because they control the airport (in Kabul),” he told the media personnel in New York.
Commercial operations in Kabul airport were suspended after multitudes of people thronged the airport seeking to leave the country after the Taliban captured Kabul on Sunday and toppled the government of Ashraf Ghani.
The US Air Force and US Marines are stationed in Kabul airport to fly back their people out of Afghanistan.

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