New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met with Deputy Prime Minister of Yemen Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi on Tuesday to discuss about the India’s anxiety over the security of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in the Arab country in 2016, the ministry stated.
Al-Mekhlafi directed Swaraj that Father Tom was alive and the Yemen government was putting all attempts to protect his discharge.
“The External Affairs Minister stressed the government’s concern for the safety and well-being of Father Tom Uzhunnalil who was abducted in April 2016 from Aden and reiterated the request for continued assistance from the Yemeni authorities in securing his safe and early release”, the ministry stated.
Foreign Minister of Yemen, Al-Mekhlafi promised all assistance to protect discharge of Father Tom, a native of Kerala.
During the meeting, the condition of Yemen and the gulf region was discussed. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State terror groups are believed to have origin in some areas of Yemen leading to unsteadiness in the country.
Swaraj and Al-Mekhlafi conducted meeting in a affable and friendly manner. They even covered bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest, the MEA asserted.
“The visiting minister appreciated India’s steadfast support for Yemen during difficult times, including India’s humanitarian assistance”, the MEA stated.
Swaraj even showed gratitude to the Yemeni government for its heartfelt help and assistance in release of Indian and foreign nationals from Yemen under the ‘Operation Raahat’ in the month of March and April in year 2015.
India had released 6,700 people, involving the nationals of 41 countries, under the action when internal trouble in the Arab nation grew out of manage.
“He requested increase in slots for Yemeni students as also facilitation of medical visas for the Yemeni patients as India has been their most preferred destination. The External Affairs Minister assured all possible assistance, including through supply of much-needed medicines at Yemen’s request”, the MEA stated.
Sushma Swaraj also organized a lunch for Deputy Prime Minister of Yemen Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlaf.