7 Indian sailors safe, India in touch with multiple sources for their early release: MEA

New Delhi:The seven Indian sailors, on board a UAE-flagged ship that has been seized by Houthi rebels, are safe and the Indian government is in touch with multiple sources, including the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), to press for their release at the earliest, a top official said on Friday. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, in a briefing, said that as per the latest information “received from the shipping company based in the UAE as well as from other sources, the seven Indian sailors are safe, in good health, and are being provided regular meals.” However, their captors have not been allowing them to communicate with their families, he said. He said the Government of India is in touch with multiple sources, including the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), “to enquire about the safety and well-being of our sailors as well as to reinforce our message to the Houthis that our sailors should be released at the earliest.” On 16 January 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2452 (2019) authorizing the establishment of a Special Political Mission, the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA). UNMHA brings together civilian, military and police personnel, to support the Yemeni parties in delivering their obligations under the Stockholm Agreement, Referring to the January 17 Houthi drone attack in Abu Dhabi in which two Indians and a Pakistani national were killed, the spokesperson said: “As regards the attack in UAE, two Indian nationals were killed, in the terror attack on January 17. The External Affairs Minister in his telephonic conversation with his UAE counterpart condemned the terror attack in the strongest terms. “Subsequently, the UNSC of which we are currently a member, in a press statement, condemned in the strongest terms the heinous terror attack in Abu Dhabi, on January 17. “We are closely monitoring the developments,” he added. Two Indians were killed in the Houthi drone attack on the Adnoc (Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation) oil depot in Mussaffah, Abu Dhabi, on January 17. The seven Indians were part of the crew of UAE-flagged ship Rawabi that was seized by Houthi rebels on January 2 off the port of Hodeidah (Yemen). India has urged the Houthis to release the men immediately. India also said it is concerned at the recent intensification of fighting in Yemen and hoped that all parties come to the negotiating table to find a peaceful resolution to the Yemen issue. UNI/RN

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