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Indian Embassy in Yemen shifted to Djibouti

Last updated on: April 20, 2015 15:11 IST

In view of the worsening situation in Yemen's capital Sana'a, India has shifted its embassy to Djibouti, adjoining the war-torn country, after the "successful" conclusion of the process to evacuate its nationals, government informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Under the operation 'Raahat', 6,688 people were evacuated from Yemen, including 4,741 Indians and 1,947 foreign nationals by air and sea routes, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in a suo motu statement.

"I am glad to inform this August House that operation 'Raahat' conducted for the evacuation of Indian nationals from war-torn Yemen has been a resounding success, well-acknowledged by the international community.

"We not only managed to safely evacuate 4,741 Indians but also 1,947 foreign nationals from 48 countries till 18 April under most difficult circumstances," she said.

India's approach in the evacuation process has been guided by the spirit of 'vasudev kutumbakam' (the whole world is one), Swaraj said.

While giving details about the evacuation process and related developments, she said, "in view of the worsening security situation in Sana’a and after the successful conclusion of the evacuation process, we have relocated our Embassy to Djibouti on April 15."

She said the Indian Embassy would continue to operate from Djibouti till situation returns to normal in Yemen.

Swaraj said India had received formal requests from 33 countries, including some neighbouring and western nations, for assistance in evacuation of their nationals as the Indian Embassy was among the handful of foreign missions operational in Sana’a after the airstrikes began.

"We responded positively to these requests to the extent possible based on ground realities and helped nationals of 48 countries in evacuation," the minister said.

India assisted nationals of Pakistan, the US, the UK, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Canada, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Maldives, Morocco, Myanmar, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Somalia, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, the UAE, Uganda, Ukraine and Yemen.

"This received worldwide appreciation," she said.

The Indians evacuated from Yemen were from 27 states. The maximum of 2,527 belonged to Kerala, while 427 hailed from Tamil Nadu, 368 from Uttar Pradesh, 293 from Maharashtra, 219 from Bihar, 195 from West Bengal and 180 from Telangana/Andhra Pradesh besides others.

She praised Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (retd) V K Singh, who personally supervised the evacuation efforts in Djibouti and shuttled between Sana'a and Djibouti "sparing no effort to accomplish this difficult task".

Singh "did not work as a minister but as a General", she said.

India also deputed 26 officials from the Ministry of External Affairs to Djibouti and Sana’a to strengthen and coordinate the evacuation efforts, she said.

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