Govt wins ‘national consensus’ on Ukraine

New Delhi, March 3 : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday briefed in details members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on the situation in Ukraine and said later that there was a “strong and unanimous message of support” to bring back all Indians from the war-hit country. “A good discussion on the strategic and humanitarian aspects of the issue,” Jaishankar said, describing the discussion he held with nine of the 21 members of the committee attached to his Ministry as “good” on strategic and humanitarian aspects. He tweeted that there was a “national consensus on the importance of dialogue and diplomacy”. Congress MPs Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and Anand Sharma, Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, YSRCP’s B.V. Satyavathialso and BJP’s G.V.L. Narsimha Rao were among those who attended the meeting. Tharoor called it an “excellent meeting” and thanked Jaishankar for a comprehensive briefing. “Excellent meeting … this morning on Ukraine. My thanks to ⁦Dr. S Jaishankar and his colleagues for a comprehensive briefing and candid responses to our questions and concerns. This is the spirit in which foreign policy should be run,” he said. He said the opposition had urged External Affairs Ministry to issue a more detailed statement than usual. “The meeting took place in a constructive spirit and all parties are ted in their desire to see our nationals return safely home,” the Congress member said. He added: “Frank discussions took place in an amicable atmosphere, a reminder that when it comes to national interests we are all Indians first and foremost.” Informed sources said the continuing evacuation of thousands of Indians from Ukraine dominated the discussion. The opposition extended support to the government in its rescue efforts. The sources said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed concern over the Russia-China proximity and its implications for India. Opposition leaders commended the government efforts to evacuate Indians from Ukraine and asked for detailed information. Some MPs, however, felt that the government should have started evacuations sooner, the sources said. AO MR

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