Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Congress supports govt’s stand of abstaining from voting in UNGA: Sources

Congress leaders have supported the Union Government’s stand of abstaining from voting in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), informed sources on Thursday. This came after a Consultative Committee of Parliament on External Affairs held a meeting at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar briefed the committee of Parliament meeting amid the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine. He gave a presentation about the evacuation process and the current situation.

“Congress leaders supported the government’s stand of abstaining from voting in UNGA,” sources said.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who was also present in the meeting expressed gratitude to Jaishankar over “comprehensive briefing” and “candid responses.”

Post the meeting, speaking to media persons, Tharoor said, “(We had) many points. MEA will talk. It was a good meeting. We are all united.” “Excellent meeting of the Consultative Committee on External Affairs this morning on #Ukraine. My thanks to @DrSJaishankar & his colleagues for a comprehensive briefing & candid responses to our questions &concerns. This is the spirit in which foreign policy should be run,” he tweeted.

In a series of tweets, he said that the meeting took place in a “constructive spirit.”

“I have declined media requests for comments since the meeting is confidential. However, we urged MEA to issue a more detailed statement than usual. The meeting took place in a constructive spirit and all parties are united in their desire to see our nationals return safely home,” he said. “Nine MPs attended from six political parties. @INCIndia MPs present were @RahulGandhi, @AnandSharmaINC & myself. Frank discussions took place in an amicable atmosphere, a reminder that when it comes to national interests we are all Indians first and foremost,” Tharoor added.

After the meeting, Jaishankar said that there was a “good discussion on the strategic and humanitarian aspects of the issue”.
“Just completed a MEA consultative committee meeting on developments in Ukraine. A good discussion on the strategic and humanitarian aspects of the issue. Strong and unanimous message of support for efforts to bring back all Indians from Ukraine,” he tweeted.

“A national consensus on the importance of dialogue and diplomacy. Thank all members for their participation,” he added.

The Indian government has been ramping up its efforts to evacuate its citizen from Ukraine. Special flights have been arranged under ‘Operation Ganga’.

Meanwhile, a total of 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since the advisories were issued and flights under ‘Operation Ganga’ have been increased to facilitate the evacuation of remaining students stranded in Ukraine.

The students who left Ukraine also included some Indians who had not registered with the Embassy of India in Kyiv previously.
Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting on the issue. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other officials.

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