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NEW DELHI : The security situation in Afghanistan and its implications were among the issues discussed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his German counterpart, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel during a telephone conversation on Monday. 

German troops are among those deployed to secure Kabul airport alongwith US and Afghan security personnel as thousands of Afghans surge towards the airport in a desperate bid to get out of the country after the fall of the Afghan capital to the Pakistan backed Taliban on 15 August. Securing the airport is crucial given that it’s the main exit route out of the country for thousands of foreigners including Indians who have been engaged in various activities in Afghanistan – from diplomacy, development work to being employed by foreign companies extending services to the multinational troops stationed in Afghanistan since November 2001.  

“The leaders discussed the unfolding security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the region and the world.  They emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and security, with the most urgent priority being the repatriation of stranded people," an Indian statement said.  

“The two leaders also discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, including cooperation in covid-19 vaccines, development cooperation with a focus on climate and energy, and fostering trade and economic relations," the statement said.  

Besides this, there was an exchange of views on the forthcoming climate conference hosted by the UK and the Indian initiative to promote a dialogue on maritime security at the United Nations Security Council. India is the president of the UNSC for the month of August and Modi has already addressed a UNSC session on maritime security.   

Modi and Merkel also “emphasised commonality of perspectives between both sides on promoting inclusive cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region," the Indian statement added.

 

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