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Blinken discusses Afghanistan situation with Jaishankar, Qureshi

Jaishankar tweeted after the call on Monday that while discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan he “underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul.

IANS | New York |

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed the Afghanistan situation with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar as he made a round of calls to foreign ministers with direct interests in the country overrun by the Taliban.

Jaishankar tweeted after the call on Monday that while discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan he “underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul. Deeply appreciate the American efforts underway in this regard”.

The airport is under US control after President Joe Biden rushed thousands of Army and Marine troops there last week. But thousands of Afghans desperate to flee the Taliban flooded the tarmac stopping flights from landing or taking off on Monday.

But reports later in the day said that flights had resumed.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price issued unusually terse and nearly identical readouts of the calls with Jaishankar and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, saying only that they “discussed Afghanistan and the developing situation there”.

In calls to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Blinken discussed the “security situation” and evacuations, Price said in readouts.

With Lavrov it was about US citizens and “vulnerable Afghans” and with Wang efforts to bring US and Chinese citizens to safety.