PM Modi seeks help from Saudi Arabia for evacuation of Indians from Yemen

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sought the help of Saudi Arabia regarding the safety of 4,000 Indians in strife-torn Yemen.

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015, 23:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sought the help of Saudi Arabia regarding the safety of 4,000 Indians in strife-torn Yemen.

PM Modi held a telephonic conversation with King Salman bin Abdul aziz Al Saud.

The Saudi king called up Modi and during the conversation the Prime Minister briefed him on India's evacuation plan.

PM sought Saudi Arabia's support and cooperation in the evacuation.

Syed Akbaruddin, official spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs tweeted saying: “PM and King Salman discuss situation in Yemen telephonically. India assured of all help to evacuate our nationals safely.”

Recalling the "strong and close" relations between both the nations, the Saudi King assured Modi of his full attention to the safety of Indians in Yemen and all possible assistance for their early and safe evacuation.

"Prime Minister shared his deep concern about the safety and welfare of the approximately 4000 Indian citizens in Yemen. Prime Minister briefed His Majesty King Salman on India's evacuation plan and requested His Majesty's support and cooperation in the evacuation of Indian citizens from Yemen," a PMO statement said, as per PTI.

PM Modi expressed his gratitude to the Saudi King and conveyed his best wishes to him for a quick resolution of the challenges in the region and early restoration of peace and stability under his leadership.

He also reaffirmed his commitment to further strengthening India's close relations with Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held an inter-ministerial meeting during which it was decided to evacuate at least 400 nationals from Aden by sea routes.

With government's plans to airlift the stranded Indians not materialising in view of attack on the Yemen airport late last night, the sea route option was explored and it was decided that a local ship with the capacity of ferrying 400 passengers will be used to transfer all the Indians in Aden to Djibouti, where they will reach tomorrow morning.

There are about 300 to 400 Indians in Aden.

In Djibouti, the Indian nationals will be assisted by senior diplomats and their return to India will be on two large military transport C-17 Globemaster aircraft.

Announcing government's decision, Akbaruddin, said that Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will leave for Djibouti tomorrow to supervise the evacuation efforts.

Meanwhile, 80 Indians who had left from Yemen on Saturday for Djibouti, have returned to their respective states.

After being granted permission to fly from Sanaa, India had sent two Air India planes. However, because of the attack on the Yemen airport, the planes were at the airport in Muscat.

"As and when it is possible to use air services through Sanaa, we will press Air India flights to assist the Indians," the Spokesperson said.

(With PTI inputs)