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India to stand by Afghans: Jaishankar at UN meet

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New Delhi, Sep 13: Afghanistan is passing through a critical and challenging phase and India is willing to stand by Afghans in this hour of need, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday. He made the remarks while addressing the United Nations High-Level meeting on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan.

S Jaishankar

Noting that Afghanistan is passing through a ''critical and challenging'' phase, Jaishankar also said the international community must come forward to help it.

The minister said that India has consistently supported a central role of the global body in the future of the war-torn country.

''India's own approach to Afghanistan has always been guided by our historical friendship with its people and this will continue to be the case,'' he added.

A multilateral platform is always ''more effective'' than small groups of countries in building global consensus, he said.

There has been a sea change in its political, economic, social and security situation and consequently, its humanitarian needs, the minister said.

Jaishankar further said that the issue of travel and safe passage that can emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian assistance be immediately sorted out.

Those who want to travel into and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstructions, he added.

''As an immediate neighbour, India is monitoring developments with understandable concerns,'' he said.

He said the international community must come together to create the best possible enabling environment to assist the country.

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