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Business News/ News / India/  'Their health is good and...': MEA shares update as 16 Indians remain on board ship seized by Iran
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'Their health is good and...': MEA shares update as 16 Indians remain on board ship seized by Iran

MEA is working to secure the release of 16 men on a seized ship through contact with Iranian authorities. Consular access has been granted and the individuals are reported to be in good health.

An official slides down a rope during a helicopter raid on MSC Aries ship at sea in this screen grab obtained from a social media video released on April 13 (Via Reuters)Premium
An official slides down a rope during a helicopter raid on MSC Aries ship at sea in this screen grab obtained from a social media video released on April 13 (Via Reuters)

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that efforts remained underway to bring back 16 Indians on board a cargo ship seized by Iran. The Israel-linked MSC Aries was taken by Tehran nearly two weeks ago amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. Ann Tessa Joseph — the sole woman cadet among the 17 Indian crew members — was released on April 18 following "concerted efforts" by the Indian and Iranian governments. 

“One girl who was there has returned. We had asked for consular access for these 16 people and we received that and our officers met them. Their health is good and there is no problem of any kind on the ship..." said MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

The official said that there were “certain technicalities involved" before the Indians — part of the 25-member crew of the ship — could return home. Details shared during the his weekly media briefing suggest that there are “some contractual obligations" that have to be met before their repatriation.

The MEA also said that it was in touch with Iranian authorities following a joint statement with Pakistan that made note of the Kashmir issue. Islamabad and Tehran agreed on Thursday that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through "peaceful means based on the will of the people" of the region. The joint statement was issued by the two countries following President Ebrahim Raisi's first visit to Pakistan. 

“On that issue, we have raised this matter with the Iranian authorities…Regarding your second question about their President's visit, as you know, we inform you about such visits at appropriate time, when everything is ready and finalised," Jaiswal said. 

India has previously rejected such statements by other countries on the Kashmir issue. and insisted that the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh were "integral and inalienable parts" of the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 25 Apr 2024, 06:42 PM IST
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